AIP003 | How I Figured out My Monthly Spending and Saved up to Move to New York City

Ben Hauck explains in detail how he figured out his monthly spending right after college in order to save up for a move to New York City to pursue an acting career. Using a saving sheet he designed and all of the receipts he collected over a month, he was able to group his various expenses into categories and precisely figure out where his money was going and whether he was saving money or losing it. Still employing the procedure to this day — and preferring to do it longhand — he calls this process “the secret” to his success.

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Ben’s Saving Sheet

Get the Saving Sheet Ben describes in this episode at


Either of these would work for me in doing my expenses. I buy one a year, so each ledger represents my spending for a single year. I have never gone over 80 pages, though I do fill up most of the ledger.

Amazon: National Brand Granite Series Columnar Book, 3 Columns, Patina Blue, 9.25 x 7 Inches, 80 Pages (56303)
Staples: Staples® Columnar Book, 3 Columns

In the ledger, I write the expense and the date in the wide column. In the first narrow column, I write what I spent on the expense. I use the second narrow column if I was reimbursed or refunded an amount for the purchase. I don’t use the third column, so I suppose I could use a 2-column ledger rather than a 3-column.


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