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Personal Budgeting - Getting Started

Creating a budget can be a scary thought.   Actually finding out how much you make and how much you spend might not be something you are eager to know.   In fact, most Americans have no idea how much they spend.    But putting together a personal budget is one of the most important things you can do to take control of your debt situation and get you on the path to being not only debt free but to having actual savings.  Here are the the first things you should think about when starting your budget planning:

1. Start with reasonable goals.

We all want to be millionaires.   And while that can be a long term goal its not a good short term goal.   It is very important to identify what financial goals are most important to you and what are the goals that are going to have a positive impact on your daily life.   By focusing on these smaller important goals you can begin take control of your finances.   And then you can set bigger goals for retirement and savings.

2. Focus on Your Goals

Once you have picked your goals it is important to focus on them to make sure you are making progress.  Write them down.   While its important to remember it takes time to achieve your goals it is also good to review your goals on a regular basis to make sure you are sticking to you plan.

3. Remember Time Is on Your Side

It takes time to achieve your goals.  But time is also on your side.  Each paycheck you get offers a chance to budget your money, pay off some debt or bills and eventually start saving money.   Every paycheck can get you closer to your goals if you stick to your budget.   And once you start saving money or investing it than that money will grow over time as well.   Only lottery winners get rich overnight.   Most millionaires made their money by working and saving over a long period of time.

4. Pick Good Goals

Make sure to pick goals that are going to have a direct impact on your life.   Getting out of debt should be your first priority.   The most important step in your budgeting is to get out of credit card loans that charge high interest rates.   Your money shouldn't be going to credit card companies.  After paying off your debt focus on building some emergency fund savings and then create a new set of goals.    Saving to buy a home,  paying for college or saving for retirement are all good goals.

5. Start now.

Time is on your side but it only helps if you start now.  Don't put off your budget planning.   This is important stuff.  Having control of your finances and being debt free will help you live a more stable and happy life.  

6.  Start Thinking About Your Money

Once you have a budget you need to actively think about your spending habits.   When you are spending your money you  need to be asking yourself, "Is this within my budget?".   You can't continue spending money without a plan.  

7.  Budget for Fun

While the process of budgeting isn't always fun and can be challenging it is important to remember the reason you are doing this - to improve the quality of your life.  Part of any budget should be money that is spent on things you enjoy.  Not necessarily a new sports car but smaller things that you like to do everyday or week.   Dinner out and a movie.  Or perhaps saving for a vacation.  

8.   Get Started Now

You need a budget.   So lets get started now.  Click here for Getting Started on your Budget



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