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Real Stories

Personal Spending Spreadsheet

Materials Needed:
Computer(s) with spreadsheet software
Personal Spending Plan sample spreadsheet

Facilitator should begin activity by asking participants the following questions:

  1. Experts believe that, once you look at your monthly budget, you can see where the money is going. Why do you think this is important to do?
  2. Do any of you actually write up a budget like Min Lwin did---keeping track of expenses versus income? If yes, how does this help? If not, why not?

Facilitator should project the sample "Personal Spending Plan" spreadsheet onto a screen or wall and discuss how it was created.

NOTE: Selecting the cells next to the "Totals" will give you the formula that was used.

The Facilitator should then direct participants to:

  1. Open up a blank spreadsheet (Excel, MS Works, etc.)
  2. Using the projected sample as a guide create their own "Personal Spending Plan" spreadsheet.
  3. List their monthly income(s)
  4. List their monthly expenses: They should include fixed and variable expenses, for example, rent is fixed, and utilities are variable.
  5. List their discretionary expenses. For example, entertainment, i.e. movies, concerts, etc.
  6. If created right - the spreadsheet will do all of the calculations necessary.

The Facilitator should ask participants:

  1. In the box "Do you spend too much" - did any of you obtain a negative number? If so, what can you adjust to your expenses so that they do not exceed your income?
  2. Did you include "savings" as one of your expenses? Why or why not?

The Facilitator should conclude the activity by:
Discussing the following quote from the program, "You must be able to distinguish between what you want and what you can afford."