06-26-2017  10:23 pm      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Multnomah County Library Hosts ‘We Refuse to Be Enemies’

Library will hold a series of social justice workshops this summer ...

The Skanner Wins NNPA Award for Best Layout and Design

Our graphic designer Patricia Irvin wins for July 2016 issues ...

Cooling Centers to open in Multnomah County Saturday, Sunday

Temperatures expected to climb into the upper 90s this weekend ...

Multnomah County Leaders Release Statement on Safety at Summer Events

Officials advise public to check in, have a plan and be aware at public events ...

Portland Musician, Educator Thara Memory Dies

Grammy-winning Trumpeter, composer, teacher died Saturday at the age of 68 ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Our Children Deserve High Quality Teachers

It’s critical that parents engage with educational leaders and demand equal access to high quality teachers ...

Civil Rights Groups Ask for Broad Access to Affordable Lending

Charlene Crowell writes that today’s public policy housing debate is also an opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the past and...

Criminal Justice Disparities Present Barriers to Re-entry

Congressional Black Caucus Member Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) writes about the fight to reduce disparities in our criminal justice...

Bill Maher Betrayed Black Intellectuals

Armstrong Williams talks about the use of the n-word and the recent Bill Maher controversy ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Woman watches dollar bills raining down

Why Track Spending?

How much exactly should you budget for food every month? How about gas for your car? Tracking your spending is to budgeting like a measuring cup is to cooking. Without it, you’ll have a harder time making everything come out right. Furthermore, when you aren’t tracking your spending, it is easy to forget those small purchases that really add up. For instance, if you are a smoker, how many packs do you buy? What about coffee and energy drinks? Not including these in your budget if you buy them on a regular basis can leave you short on money by the end of the month.

Ways to Track Spending

Luckily, in our modern era there are a variety of options for keeping track of your spending.

 ▪  The most basic and old-fashioned of all: write it down. Carry a small notebook or piece of paper and write down everything you buy and how much you spent. Then when you are budgeting, you can add up how much you actually spent in each category and use that to estimate costs for the next month.

▪    If you don’t want to be constantly carrying a pen around, save your receipts! You can keep them in your wallet and then put them in a safe place so that you can have a record of everything you’ve bought when it’s time for budgeting.

▪    Do you like to use your debit card for most of your transactions instead of cash? Check out Mint.com. It is a secure site that links with your bank accounts and measures how much you spend for you! They even make charts and graphs for you to visualize your spending patterns.

Continuing to Track Spending

Continuing to track your spending is not only a great way to keep your budget up to date, but a way to remind yourself how much you have to spend for the month. It can take trial and error to see what works for you, but you’ll be amazed how much easier budgeting is when you know where your money is going.

By Jenna Knobloch on behalf of Innovative Changes, www.innovativechanges.org

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