blogPg03_Inc.html Money: A User Guide

You Are Here

Sometimes you go to the mall with a specific purchase in mind, and sometimes you go to the mall just to hang out and have fun. Life is like going to the mall.

I’m sure you’ve noticed the maps they have at the mall, with the stores all numbered. Typically there’s a big red X or an arrow labeled “YOU ARE HERE“. Mall designers put those maps there to help you find where you want to go.

I suppose, if you knew what you were looking for you could just stroll around until you stumble across it. That might be fun; looking at all the stuff. However, you might get lost in what you find. Or, the mall could close before you get what you need. Life is pretty much like that. At the mall, or in life, things seem to work out for those who know what they want and take a direct approach.

In this first step, you’ll figure out where you are. Then, once you know where you want to be, the rest of the blog is like a mall map; it'll show you the quickest way to get there - so that, before the mall closes, you will have gotten everything you went for. And by the time you leave, you will be eminently satisfied.

Exercise 2

The purpose of this exercise is to calculate total net earnings for each income earner independently.

The INCOME table (seen below) calculates total Net household income.

"Net" refers to the amount of money you have to work with; a combination of net pay, plus deductions from earnings over which you have a say. Example: health insurance premiums.

The INCOME table is the first table in which you will enter data. It is important to confine your entries to within the area(s) surrounded by the blue border. Otherwise, you may overwrite headings or labels, or hidden formulas that do the math for you.

The example above contains tables for two income-earners. Each INCOME table contains three rows for income sources, labelled Job 1, Job 2, and Job 3.

If you have more than one income source, enter data for each one.

To delete an entry, like the one provided in the sample, select it and press "delete".


  1. Select Job 1, and type an income source.
  2. Tab to beneath the correct pay period heading, and enter your net earnings.

In the example above, as in all other tables in this guide, column and row headings, as well as labels, are shown in black (blue) font, income in green, and expenses in red. Totals and Subtotals are either black or red, depending on whether the result is positive or negative.

The example above shows that after subtracting Expenses from Income, a positive balance of $581.09 remains.

Only when you are living within your means is it possible to make ends meet.

Read more, or proceed.

Second, you'll determine what resources are at your disposal, what you have to work with, how much money you earn (per month). To know whether you are living within, or beynd, your means, whether it is possible to Make Ends Meet without making any changes, you'll need to subtract Expenses from Income, which beggs the third step: finding out how much you spend.

The first table in which you will enter data is the INCOME Table.


For our purposes income will be defined as the amount of money you earn and have control over, which includes net pay and voluntary employer deductions (i.e., health insurance premiums and retirement plans). One can think of income as Total Net Earnings, the amount of money you actually have to work with (as opposed to Net Pay, the amount of money you are paid).

Regardless of Pay Period, income is converted to a monthly amount, in deference to the standard monthly billing cycle (Rent, Utilities, loan payments, etc.), which is easier than comparing bushels to baskets.




The INCOME template is a three-section table showing income Source, Amount, and amount Per Month.

Because an indiviual may have more than one Source of income, the table has rows for three employers. If additional rows are needed, please add them below the row containing the, "Job 2" label. Otherwise, the table will miscalculate Total Net Income.

The potential for more than one Source raises the possibility of more than one Pay Period. So, to make entering and updating information easier, the Amount section is sub-divided into three columns: Wkly, Bi-Wkly, and Monthly.


A household may have more than one income-earner. A duplicate table is provided for a second income earner.

In households with two (or more) contributing income-earners, expenses are shared in proportion to income, unless individuals agree otherwise. For example:
Jack and Jill earn 49% and 51% of their combined income, respectively. On shared expenses, such as Rent, Groceries, and most utilities, Jack pays 49% of the total cost, while Jill pays 51%.
On the other hand, Jack likes to watch Netflix, while Jill does not. So Jack assumes full responsibility for the cost of Netflix. Likewise, Likewise, Jill does not expect Jack to pay any of her gambling debts.

NOTE: If your household has more than two income earners, contact me via the email link near the bottom of each page and I will prepare a set of tables specifically for your household.

MIEs The reason that the allocation column equals the amount column is because the example is for one income earner. In a family where two people work the income table will have two income earners. And the ratio of incomes will be calculated. And there will be two allocation columns; one for each income earner. And the allocation amounts will reflect the income percentages.


Data entry tables are color-formatted to make it easier to identify the constituent parts: blue for text, green for income, red for expenses, and black for column and row headings and labels.

IMPORTANT! Please confine your entries to within the area bound by the thin blue border(s). The column and row headings and labels should not be altered, and the amounts displayed in the  PER MONTH  column are the results of hidden formulas. If you know how to lock a range, I advise you to do so (hint: click-drag to select the range, then select  Data > Protect sheets and ranges). Otherwise, take care not to color outside the lines.

Please enter all Income (as previously defined) for your household, in the table(s) above. Then,

TO RECAP: blah ...

"Your future comes out of your mouth."
"The escape velocity of imagination exceeds the gravitational pull of circumstance"

Nashville, IN USA



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