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Step 3: Write Down Your Purchases
Commit in writing to writing down every purchase for the next month. Each of you must write down in a little notebook every time money leaves your pocket, whether through check, cash or credit card. When you buy a magazine, shop for food, eat at a restaurant, go to the movies, buy a cup of coffee, or pay bills, have your book ready and simply jot down the date, the item purchased and the cost. You don't have to itemize the food shopping; just write the date and total cost. If you have a financial record program such as Quicken on your computer, you can just enter these daily totals into your computer records and truly simplify your budgeting.

The next step: Analyze your spending

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