Budgeting Can Be Your Key to Financial Stability

debt settlements managements
byEllise Walsh

It is no secret that consumers these days are carrying more and more debt. At the same time, personal savings rates have never been lower. It does not take a financial expert to see the problem with this situation. As consumers take on more and more debt, even the smallest financial setback can quickly spell disaster. One of the simplest ways to get a handle on debt is through the judicious use of a realistic monthly budget.

The monthly budget may just be the simplest and most basic of all financial documents. Even so, it is shocking how many people have never taken the time to produce even the simplest of budgets. There are many consumers who have not idea where their money is going. Without this basic knowledge, controlling spending is all but impossible.

Creating a budget does not have to be a complicated process. You do not have to have an accounting degree to keep track of your daily, weekly and monthly expenses, and you do not need to invest in fancy spreadsheet software either. All it takes is a small notepad and a calculator.

The best way to begin if you have never kept a budget before is simply to carry a notepad around with you everywhere you go. Write down every purchase and its cost, no matter how small. That means every cup of coffee, every lunch, every candy bar, every tank of gas. At the end of the week or the end of the month, go through all of it and add it up. You may be surprised at the amount of money that “leaks” out of your pockets every month on frivolous expenses. It is often possible to trim a significant amount of spending in ways that will not impact your life or lifestyle.

After you have repeated this exercise for a few months, you may be surprised at how your spending, and your debt level go down. Simply keeping careful track of purchases tends to make us more cautious, and the extra money you save can then be applied to paying down current debt. The more you can put toward your current debt payments, the more you will save in interest and other charges.

Creating a budget may not be the most fun or exciting way to spend your time, but a good budget is the foundation of your financial life. Once you have a realistic budget you can stick to, you are more than halfway to getting your financial house in order.

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