Income and Expenses

Among the 20% of families with the highest income, average wealth increased by 80% from $721,900 in 1999 to $1,300,100 in 2012.

Among the 20% families with the lowest income, average wealth increased by 38% from $79,500 in 1999 to $109,300 in 2012.

Among the 20% families with the middle income, average wealth increased by 73% from $261,800 in 1999 to $453,300 in 2012.

You need to know your income (cash in) and your expenses (cash out) before you can accumulate wealth and become financially independent. Your income and expense statement, ''cash in and cash out'', is essential when assessing your current situation. If your income is higher than your expenses, you have a surplus and money to save or invest. If your expenses are higher than your income, you have a shortfall and an increasing debt load.

Your minimum debt repayments (excluding mortgage) should not exceed 25% of your net income. To track your money, use the Income, Expense and Saving Statement and start keeping a record of where your cash is going.

The Liabilities: Detailed worksheet is available under Debt Elimination Plan. Use it to create a detailed summary of your liabilities, payment obligations, debt challenges and action items.

Home Budget Calculator

Managing a budget can be a frustrating and daunting task. One of the most important aspects of controlling a budget is to determine where money is going. This calculator helps you do just that. By entering your income and monthly expenditures, you can see how much you may have left to save and where your money is being spent.

Information and interactive calculators are made available to you only as self-help tools for your independent use and are not intended to provide investment or tax advice. We cannot and do not guarantee their applicability or accuracy in regards to your individual circumstances. All examples are hypothetical and are for illustrative purposes. We encourage you to seek personalized advice from qualified professionals regarding all personal finance issues.