Balance Your Budget

February 3, 2009

This society is one piled high with debt. You hear the horror stories all the time. There is probably a person in debt living in your neighborhood or sitting next to you at the ballgames. People are getting into financial trouble for one simple reason – they are spending more money than they earn. Here are some useful tips for how to live within your means.

The basic premise behind a budget is that the income has to exceed the expenses. It there is a deficit, then you either need to cut your spending or increase your income. Continuing on a deficit path will only lead to an eventual crash. It all has to start with a budget. It is important to get an understanding of what you are making and what you are spending so that you can bring it into balance.

Set your priorities. If you have to have two cars then choose a smaller house. If you have to have a large house then you could choose one where prices are lower. If you have to have cable then subscribe to the most basic package. If you have to have an addition on your home then shop around for the best company at the best price to do the work (or find one that will let you do it a step at a time).

Tackle the credit and debt that already exists in your life, but start by committing to NO MORE! As you pay off one debt, take the money that would have gone to it and apply the money to your next debt. When you are debt free, the extra money you have each month could be overwhelming.

Find ways to make more money doing things that you enjoy (sewing, writing, gardening or babysitting), or take a seasonal job to save for specific needs. Getting a part time job, even for just a few weeks, could give you the money you need to balance your budget. You could also use any extra income to pay off your debts or to start an emergency savings fund.

No amount of frugal mindset or thrifty thinking will help if you are spending more than you bring in. This is one action that is best remedied immediately. If you want to have a future that is financially bright, then it is very important to develop a plan that has you bringing in more money than you spend. Putting together a budget, setting priorities, eliminating debt and bringing in more money are all steps to getting your finances in the right balance.

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