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Avoiding debt: How to maintain a budget

Updated on July 25, 2011

Avoiding debt: How to maintain a budget

Avoiding debt: How to maintain a budget

The first step to avoiding the problems of financial debt is to make and maintain a budget. It is not as scary as it sounds, so don’t worry.

First of all, create a long list of your monthly income and also a list of your expenses. When finding out your income, list all the sources including alimony, stock shares, child support, odd jobs, etc. In monitoring your expenses, be sure to note housing, food, transportation, utilities, entertainment, etc. To get a precise understanding of your actual expenses, sit down every night and write down your expenses. But make sure to save all your receipts. Find out if your income is more than all of your expenses. If your income is less than your expenses, then some expenses need to be removed.

Fix your expenses. If it is a small problem with your expenses, it may mean reducing some expenses like going out for dinner or the use of a cell phone. If the deficit is enormous, you may need to get a cheaper vehicle or change your living arrangements. If your monthly income can cover all of your monthly expenses, you still may want to get rid of some of the excessive spending habits. This can provide you with extra money for things such as vacations or a savings fund.

Furthermore, consider if you must add new categories. Some areas that you can often miss are debt reduction, emergency savings funds, and retirement savings. An emergency savings fund means there is a substantial amount available to cover unpredictable events if they arise such as a car accident or death in the family. This will prevent you from having to resort to using your credit card which can quickly hurt the budget you work very hard on to maintain.

There are several benefits to sticking to a budget. First, people usually have set financial goals that they would like to obtain in the future. It can be a trip, a brand new car, or a college education. A budget can make certain that you will save money to make these goals a reality. Additionally, people can be hurt under heavy consumer debt. Without a disciplined spending habits, it is almost impossible to reduce the debt that you have incurred. Making a personal budget will make certain that the necessary framework will be in place in order to begin eliminating these overgrown account balances.

If done properly, a budget will allow you to meet your goal expenses, place money into a savings account, and pay outstanding debts. Therefore, it is in your best interest to create and maintain a budget.


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