Understand Why You Come Up Short Each Month

Two things in life are certain: death and taxes. Benjamin Franklin said that. One of the Founding Fathers of the United States. You know, the face you see before you fork over a one-hundred-dollar bill. This sentiment still rings true after all these years. I wonder how a woman would respond if asked what two things in life are certain? I know what I would say. How about you? If I were asked, I would declare diets and money. In my life, those are the two things that appear to have given me the most grief. I wager to bet that I am not the only one in this regard.

How often do we as women stress over money? What about starting a new diet? As women, we’ve gotten down the basic understanding of a diet. But the money part… Not so much.

What if we take what we understand about diets and apply that knowledge to understanding money? What would that look like? In the 80s the phrase “Money Diet” was born. You will come across it from time to time but the concept rings true. We all know that if we go on a diet, reduce calories, we will lose weight. It is a numbers game. Plain and simple. That same basic concept should apply to our financial well-being: reduce expenses in order to enjoy a healthier financial outlook in life. That makes sense, right? I decided to take it a step farther and add some flavor:

Black Girl Money Diet

financial wellness blog

The focus is on Women of Color. For us to take charge of our financial well-being. When it comes to any diet, experts claim to have the golden ticket. What ends up happening months, no weeks later? The quick fix leads us back to square one.

What does that tell us? We are in charge. The goal is to engage our minds. To increase awareness. To discover strength.

It’s better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.” ― Jackie Joyner-Kersee

In a diet, the first thing that every woman must know is her starting weight. To understand money, we must know the same thing: our starting point.

In the Black Girl Money Diet, our starting weight is our income.

To follow along, the first step is to sign up for a free budget printable worksheet cash flow analysis statement. Yes, that is right, it is fillable. It also calculates the amounts once you input all the data.

Some of you may be thinking, wait, isn’t this a budget? Hold up, we’ll get to that B-word.  I think the most important thing right now is to see how much money you receive every month as well as how much money you spend every month. This would be our monthly cash analysis statement.

To determine your starting weight, we must list all things we receive as income. Gather all your documents for this task.

Ready? Please input your monthly amount into the fillable form for the following:


Income Breakdown

  • Job income – 9 to 5. Any part-time job.
  • Side hustle income
  • Child support/Alimony
  • Other income

Other income such as a pension, 401k distribution, and Include anything and everything that doesn’t fit in the above-mentioned categories should be listed in this section. Yes, those rebates you get at Rakuten.com count as long as it results in a tax obligation.

The focus this week is on income. Once you have all those numbers, input them into your fillable sheet. Please try to be as accurate as possible. We want to get a good read on our monthly income. The form will help us determine this.

Tip: once you fill in the data, click anywhere on the form. Don’t forget to hit the save button.

Next Tuesday: The Plateau

BGMD Editorial Team

Teigh Reed is the Content Editor for BGMD. I have a passion for all things finance-related. I'm on a mission to pay forward my knowledge of money and to cheer on your accomplishments. What's on your money mind? I'm listening.

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