By managing your debts alone, you plan to reduce debts through disciplined budgeting. The first step toward taking control of your financial situation is to do a realistic assessment of how much money you take in and how much money you spend. Start by listing your income from all sources. Then, list your “fixed” expenses, those that are the same each month such as a mortgage payment or rent, car payments, and insurance premiums. Next, list the expenses that vary such as entertainment, recreation, and clothing. Writing down all your expenses, even those that seem insignificant, is a helpful way to track your spending patterns, identify necessary expenses, and prioritize the rest. The goal is to make sure you can make ends meet on the basics: housing, food, health care, insurance, and education.
There’s no underestimating the importance of formulating a budget. It’s a process that helps you develop the self-discipline you’ll need to manage your money and keep needs, wants and desires in their proper relationship. A spending plan also forces you and your family to develop disciplined attitudes about earning, saving and living within your means. To learn more about establishing a budget download a free copy of It’s Not What You Make, It’s How You Spend.
You can access our personal monthly budget form by clicking here. Once you access the form, you’ll be able to enter and keep track of your monthly budget
To access our Track Your Spending worksheet, click here.