For example, here is the amount of money a typical working single parent with one child would have left for buying food after paying the rest of his or her monthly expenses:
- In Hagerstown, Maryland: $146
- In Grand Junction, Colorado: $129
- In Kansas City, Missouri: -$36
- In Jacksonville, Florida: -$168
- In Madison, Wisconsin: -$281
When you empower yourself to be aware of where your money is going, you also put yourself in a position to make choices that reflect your long-term goals, such as creating an emergency fund, getting out of debt, or saving to buy a home. Achieving those goals is possible, and the first step is increasing your own awareness of where your money goes each month. Once you have a handle on what you're really dealing with, you can made sound decisions about whether you need to look for additional employment, cut back on spending, or set aside just a bit more each month.