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If You Spend More Than You Earn Then You Better Start Budgeting

Jun 11, 2008
Knowing how to manage money can help you make smart choices. Your money will work harder for you. You'll be more likely to avoid traps that can undermine your ability to attain your financial goals. You'll be in a better position to pay off debt and build savings.

Calculate how much money you earn in a month after taxes. For this budget plan, use your net pay or take home pay. Include tips, supplementary income, side-jobs, investments etc. This is your income.

Figure out your expenses. The best way to do this is to save receipts for a month or even a couple weeks. Knowing how much per month you spend on groceries or gas makes the next part much easier. If you want to start writing your budget today, and don't have receipts, that's OK, it's just a bit more difficult.

Read and post messages on personal finance and budgeting topics with other people from around the world. Everything from saving money on groceries, to understanding your credit rating. This will get you some good tips on where you might be able to trim.

Break your budget up into some basic categories. You might want to organize your expenses into needs - such as your loan and electricity - and wants - such as clothing and entertainment.

List all your spending under each of these categories. Let's take Auto as an example: $300/month car payment, $100/month insurance, $250/month on gas, $50/month on maintenance, 10$/month on fees such as registration. So, your total Auto budget for the month would be $710/month. If you don't know the exact amounts you spend, try to make good estimates. The more accurate you are, the better chance your budget has of working.

After getting an overview of your monthly expenses, look for anything that you can cut down to help you save money. For example, if you always eat out at work, try bringing left over or home cooked meal. You can also bring sandwiches and drinks. This can save you an average of $200 per month if you estimate $10 of lunch per day.

Limit your movie watching to once or twice a month instead of four times a month. For a huge family this can be a lot of savings. Before going to the movies, eat first to cut down on food and drink expenses. Just buy drinks or bring your own if you can. You can cut down transportation fees such as fare, gasoline and toll fees if you participate in a carpool or ride sharing.

A simple budget can be written on a piece of a paper with a pencil, and optionally, a calculator. Such budgets can be organized in three-ring binders or a file cabinet. Simpler still thre are the pre-formatted household budgeting or bookkeeping forms that creates a budget by filling in the blanks. It is really easy to budget if you want to, but as most people don't follow thier own plan most are doomed to fail.
About the Author
Gav Shannon is a Network Marketing Professional who writes about different topics that he feels may be of an interest.If You want to know more about him go to http://www.gavshannon.com
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