Once you’ve determined and recorded your fixed costs a pool of money should be left over. This is where lifestyle enrichment gets funded. That is your next step in developing a solid budget – determine your lifestyle expenses. Develop a series of categories that reflect your lifestyle spending patterns. Be careful though. The more detail you build into your budget, the more control you have but the more cumbersome your budget becomes. Find your “fine line” in setting your categories but make sure they reflect how you spend your money. This is similar to your fixed cost set-up but instead of “Rent” or “Utilities” you’ll have categories like “Restaurants” and “Entertainment”. Look at past bank statements or credit card statements and try to determine the amount you spend on these items. Write it down! Also don’t forget to record accrual expenses. An accrual is an amount you provide for on a monthly basis but don’t necessarily spend monthly. Examples of accrual expenses can be saving for an item like a down payment on a house, a new car, an RRSP investment or planning for a vacation. Budget for these items on a monthly basis to lessen the pain down the road and don’t forget – these are current budget items that are important to you so you must account for them!