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How A Budget Can Stop Debt From Piling Up

Feb 20, 2008
If you've managed (or mismanaged) to get yourself into a boatload of debt, there are ways to insure that this never happens again if at all possible, and the cornerstone of these ways is a sound, well-thought-out budgeting program. While this may not seem like a very sexy answer to what appears to be a huge problem, it is in fact the most essential part of your future going forward from here.

If you don't manage your money better, you'll only end up in the same position all over again. I have known many who have dipped their toes in this well far too often, and it has been not only their financial ruin, but sometimes also at the cost of their families. Debt and sensible budgeting are definitely things to get a handle on! Let's look at some of the ways you can do that.

First of all, if you are married, this needs to be a joint effort. Nothing will bring ruin to a marriage faster than a spouse running rampant with the finances. You need to be in agreement here, both on the totals and the categories of spending. There needs to be give and take. There needs to be some hard questions. There needs to be an accounting of your financial lives that takes into account your needs, and what you can live without. You need to be totally honest with one another, or this is simply a waste of time.

Many people who are in debt trouble resort to the envelope system, where you put each month's allotment for certain expenses into an envelope in cash, and when this is gone, so is the budget for the month for that item. Obviously, things like your mortgage won't fit in this envelope, nor should automatic payments. This is intended for controlling discretionary spending that has gotten out of hand and needs to be tracked.

It is surprisingly effective. Some of the categories you might consider are clothing, entertainment, eating out, even Starbucks. I know people who were shocked to discover that they spent several hundred dollars a month there!

The main point about implementing a budget needs to be the long-term aspect of all this. It will do you next to no good to do this for a month or so. Sound household budgeting is really no different than using a budget for your business. Most people wouldn't consider running a business that way, so neither should you run your home that way. It is YOUR business!

In this day and age when prices keep creeping up and saving is getting harder and harder to do, make it easy on yourself and find the extra dollars to save and invest in the money you already have.

There are free budgeting forms available all over the web. Find one you like and start using it, and maybe, just maybe you'll find more money at the end of the month this time.
About the Author
Do you budget your spending every month? If not, that could be why you're dealing with all credit card debt. Learn how to pay off your debt faster and with less interest paid on the Debtopedia website. Get a free copy of my report "Secrets of Credit Card Debt" at www.Debtopedia.com
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