Budgeting Top Tips

  1. Keep an accurate record of how much you spend during one full month including books, clothes, gasoline and daily meals. By doing this, you’ll be able to see exactly where your money is going and calculate your day-to-day living costs more efficiently.

  2. Try to pay as many bills as you can through online bill pay. When you arrange for your bills to be pulled from your paycheck as soon as you get paid, you’ll know exactly how much money you have available for the entire month.

  3. Spread as many bills out throughout the year as you can. That way, you won't have a lot to pay during those months when your expenses increase dramatically (i.e. annual car insurance, end-of-the-year taxes, etc.)

  4. Consider a personal loan, if you need extra money for longer than a few months. Pick a loan that offers you a low interest rate and flexible terms. You may be able to repay the debt earlier than you originally intended.

  5. Don't rush into buying something just because you want it today. This is especially true of more expensive items like furniture or cars. Shop around for better deals at other stores. There may also be another payment option such as an in-store credit card offering lower payments and interest rates.

  6. Prioritize your debts. If you don't pay your mortgage, you could lose your house. If your electricity remains unpaid, it may be cut off. If you can't afford to pay everything at one time, then you need to make a list of the most important debts and pay them accordingly.

  7. Talk to your creditors if it looks like you’re not going to be able to pay your monthly bills. It’s important to communicate your problem and discuss payment options.

  8. The most important tip: creating a monthly budget does not mean you have to stop spending money. Rather, it’s about helping you spend money more efficiently. Use your budget as a positive tool to help you control your money rather than allowing your money to control you.

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