Besides focusing on ways to increase income, I think it’s just as important to periodically evaluate one’s fixed monthly expenses. In general, I try to place as many expenses on my credit card as possible to earn points; however, there are others taken straight from my checking account. For example, my checking account expenses include apartment rent, car lease, life insurance, and Verizon. My credit card expenses include all of my monthly subscriptions and utility bills (Internet, YouTube TV, Peloton, Apple, website hosting, electricity, etc.)
I’ll intentionally overestimate expenses if they vary slightly from month to month (e.g., the electricity bill) such that I arrive at a single number that represents my fixed monthly expense. I keep an itemized list of expenses on an Excel document that I can update when rates change or when I decide to add/cancel subscriptions.
Personal Capital (invitation link – we’ll both get $20 Amazon gift cards once you link retirement accounts!) is the easiest way for me to keep my finances organized, see how my cash flow varies from month to month, and ensure that I remain financially secure going into the future. I use this app to track my variable expenses (take-out, recreation, electronics, etc.) and ensure that these expenses stay within check.