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Controlling and managing your debt is one of the most important things you can do to help you recognize where your hard earned money is being spent. Determining where you can tighten your spending habits is equally important. These practices are called budgeting.


Budgets can be cruel, but they are absolutely necessary! They are the only way that you are going to know roughly how much money you are going to spend and what you are spending on. A budget will ensure that you are not wasting money when you don't have to, and saving money when you can. More reasons why budgeting is a good idea.

Three main factors to consider when developing your budget:
            1) Determine how you are currently spending your money.
            2) Create spending goals. Meaning, set a goal for saving money for a house, retirement, paying off debt, etc..
            3) Keep close tabs on your post-budget development spending to make sure that you are sticking to the budget.

Utilize software for tracking expenses.
Microsoft Money and Quicken are great programs that will help you create a budget and track your expenses.

Donít be a penny pincher!
It is very important to save. Cutting corners here and there is OK. However, you will end up driving yourself crazy if you look to be a cheapskate with everything. A good idea is to focus on a few major areas where you can cut-back spending. Just be financial wise in your decision making and the other savings will follow!

Keep track of your cash purchases.
Doing this will allow you to track exactly where your cash is being spent and if you will need to make adjustments on your spending in certain areas.

Don't spend more than you make!
Debt does not happen without a reason! If you are spending more money than you earn, you will need to consider making some serious cuts.

Don't buy what you don't need!
When setting up your budget, determine what your needs are and what your wants are. For example, if you are buying new shoes, do you need the same pair in a different color? Or is the one pair fine.

Save Money!
Set a goal of spending no more than 85% of your salary. If you have direct deposit, put away 15% of your salary into savings as soon as you get it. If you do not have direct deposit, you can put money every week into a savings account. Or, you can invest some money in short-term CDs. Developing a financial plan for saving is one of the most important aspects of budgeting.


Donít rely on money you do not have.
When determining how much money you have, do not include bonuses, judgments, tax refunds etc.. This money is not yours until you are actually in possession of it. As we all know, things happen that are beyond our control that can negatively affect you receiving this money. You never know!

Use a raise wisely!
Just because earn more money via a new raise, that does not mean that you have to spend more money. In fact, you should try and save this extra money for an emergency, retirement or special purpose. You are already used to your old income, so contributing more towards an type of savings is not going to put a strain on your wallet.

We also suggest that you read the section related to budgeting mistakes.

Related Reading/Resources:
-Taking Control of Your Finances
-What Causes Debt?
-Credit Card Interest Calculator
-Building Credit
-Auto Saving Guide




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Managing Money Info: Financial Strategies | Financial Emergencies | Money Issues | Allowances
Teaching Kids Credit | Saving Money | Savings/Investing Calculator | Trimming Expenditures
Cut Grocery Store Costs | Avoid Wasting | Why You Should Budget | Developing a Plan
Mistakes to Avoid | Money Spending Challenge | Checking Accounts Money

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