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Nature of Income and Expenses

Updated on February 13, 2010


There are two basic questions about money that people usually consider: 1) How can I get money I need? and 2) How can I manage it to attain my goals?

What are your possible sources of money? You have special sources of income, your allowance, some earning from part-time jobs, gifts, and interest from your savings.

An allowance is an earning you can consider in exchange for responsibilities you assume at home. An allowance is a definite amount of money received regularly, either weekly or monthly. Many parents believe that an allowance gives a child a chance to learn the responsibilities of managing money. The amount of an allowance and the goods and services it is expected to provide depend on the individual's needs and the total family income. Family needs and goals are also factors to consider in determining allowance of family members.

Expenses are either fixed or variable. Fixed expenses are those items that you must pay regularly. The payments change a little in amount from one payment to the next. The fixed expenses are usually your basic needs such as transportation, snacks and lunch in school. Consider your savings as fixed allocations. When you become an adult, your fixed expenses will expand based on your increasing needs for food, clothing and shelter. Basically, your fixed expenses are your true needs.

Variable expenses are those items you want, not necessarily those you need. Items such as records, movies, hobbies, cassette tapes and vacation trips fall under variable expenses. Since these items are wants, it is within your power to control how much you must spend. Variable expenses vary greatly from week to week and from person to person.


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