Four Ways to Smile More When You Think of Your Spending

The goal is to increase the personal return on investment of your spending by focusing more on your values, experiences, relationships and giving.

A young couple smile as they look over their spending paperwork at their dining room table.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When you think about how much you spend every month, you probably don’t feel much happiness about it. What if you could?

The word “budget” is enough to make us get up from the computer and go do anything else. If you want an easier way to figure out how much you spend, divide two years of total expenses by 24 (most banks make the total debit number easy to find online). And, voilà, you now have a pretty good idea of what your monthly expenses are. That number is probably going to be higher than you thought — and unpleasant.

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This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

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Evan T. Beach, CFP®, AWMA®
President, Exit 59 Advisory

After graduating from the University of Delaware and Georgetown University, I pursued a career in financial planning. At age 26, I earned my CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification.  I also hold the IRS Enrolled Agent license, which allows for a unique approach to planning that can be beneficial to retirees and those selling their businesses, who are eager to minimize lifetime taxes and maximize income.