The Napkin Budget – Handling The Money You Have!

If you want to be rich and have a lot of money, you need to know how to handle the money you have. The video below is a simple way to understand where your money is going each month.

Before we get to the video, let’s talk about why so many people seem to run from this subject. I will speak from my personal experience and hope it sheds some light to help.

Growing up all I saw as a kid was my mother stuffing bills behind the dresser, borrowing money from my aunt (who in my mind was the villain because she had money), was told that to make it I needed to work for the city or state, was never taught about saving money and never got an allowance, wore mostly hand me downs from my brothers and watched my mother cry many times because we just couldn’t afford to do simple things like get pizza.

Now I know a lot of people grew up like this and the message always seemed to be that the rich people (or people who had any more money then us) were jerks. What I didn’t know is that they were just trying to teach us some financial principles but we didn’t want to face the demons.

And to re-enforce these bad habits of financial management, TV, radio and other forms promoted the blissful feelings of spending whatever you had on the new purse, shoes, beer, etc. etc. Not that my mom had extra money to spend on these things but those were the ideas I got stuck in my head. Immediate gratification versus feeling free.

Fast forward to now and the journey I had to take. The only way things changes is when I faced myself and the true that I sucked at financial management of my own money. Once I did that and let other people show me how I can gain control, life started to change.

This is where I now help people who want to start a home based business (i.e., network marketing, internet marketing, etc.) to improve their financial situation but have no clue of their finances. I show them simple strategies that they can implement while working on the personal development side of these issues. For one to grow you must know where you are at. This video will help along those lines.

Do this exercise and you will understand your spending habits and then can start to change them. Believe me, there is much more to improving your ideas about money, budgeting and handling your finances but this is an easy place to start and can help you propel yourself forward. Don’t be fooled at the simplicity of this exercise.

If you find value, leave some comments. It is much appreciated!


  1. What a great video, I know many people that have never done this and they wonder why they never can get ahead.
    Paul and I can remember when we were raising our 5 kids and didn’t know how we would make it through the end of the month. Both working for the county at the time, getting paid 1 time per month, scary times. We were luckier than many we put ourselves on a strict budget and saved for the extras, even worked several jobs at once for many years. We will never forget where we came from and how that felt.
    Thank you for helping people to a system where they cans see black and white where they are and then able to make choices and plans based on their napkins.

  2. This is a good reminder for everyone. I find that a lot of people have financial vagueness to the point of not even knowing what’s in the checking to pay bills. And really when you think about it people treat money sometimes the same way they treat relationships. Great video, Paul!

  3. Lidia says:

    Wow, eye opening!!!! Sad too, because most people don’t make that kind of money, not to mention manage it well. Thanks for the great lesson.
    I won’t even go into how I grew up and whether I learned to handle finances. I think it should be required in schools for teachers to teach money management.

  4. Edward says:

    Hey Paul,

    Great message my friend. We all need to be able to show that we can manage what we have in order to be open to receive more. I use a monthly spreadsheet to track expenses and bills, spending etc. like you showed in your video. It helps me see what is happening and know where to make changes when needed.

    Thanks for sharing this with us.

    Make it a great day!
    God Bless,
    The GREAT Edward!

  5. Mattgeib says:


    Great Practical/’rubber meets the road’ info!….For years when I was younger I ran my finances in a ‘hope so way’,,,,meaning I basically filed the bills in a drawer afraid to look at them & hoped by the end of the month they would some how miraculously get paid…DID NOT HAPPEN & many times the utilities were shut off & Bills went to collections.

    To me over the years I have learned handling your $$ is all about 2 things 1) Love yourself enough to be honest with yourself about your situation 2) Discipline = it takes restraint, patience & a Vision to consistently ‘Steward’ your $ monthly

    I liked your point about Net vs Gross Income,,,just cause the ‘Bank’ says you can aford a certain house or car does not Make it True,,,that is why many today are facing foreclosure.

    One Last Point: Even tho yrs ago I came to the point where Ihandled $ so badly I couldn’t ‘rub 2 nickles together’ by DECIDING to turn it around make a budget(Like U showed) & then FACTORING IN a category to pay myself first(I saved 10% of my Gross wages),,,over time with consistency I climbed out of this black financial hole.

    Thanks Again Paul
    Matt Geib The Great!

  6. Your right about people avoiding this type of practice because of fear of what they will discover and what they will have to do to correct it. People don’t like to sacrafice their pleasures but like you say, if you discipline yourself to make the necessary changes, you find out that there will be more income left at the end of the month. Then you can do the things to improve upon your income and enjoy much more in life.

    Awesome post Paul



  7. I’ve been doing this for about three or four years. I know exactly how much comes in and goes out. My husband and I are totally open with each other about finances. There’s absolutely no friction around bringing it up.

    It’s crucial, in this economic climate in particular, to be proactive like this.

    Thanks for sharing this video.

  8. Millie says:

    We are on a tight budget and never seemed to have enough to get through a month with staggered pay dates and freelance payments. Now we use the napkin method and it makes a major difference. When we started on a new leaf, I just jotted the basics down on the back of an envelope and used it to guide our spending all month. We finally are able to get through without being broke and even started to save a little bit.

  9. Bob Stanley says:

    Thanks for the tips. The video was indeed very helpful. As a student, my income is ridiculously limited so I need to manage resources carefully whilst still having fun. It’s a tough balance, but one that is necessary.
    -Bob from Karate Table View


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