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Why Is A Budget Necessary?

You hear that you should be making a family budget to take control of your finances, but why is a budget necessary?  Find out how a budget can help you and why you should spend a little time creating one.

Do We Need A Family Budget?

Youíve been thinking about making a family budget, but so far you just havenít gotten around to it yet. Making a family budget may not be the most fun thing to do, but it really isnít all that hard and may help you save a lot of money.

Spend Less Than You Make

The goal of a family budget is to spend less than you are making. You donít want to be living over your means, at least not on a consistent basis. A family budget will help with this by showing you exactly how much money you have coming in each month and how much money is going back out. The money coming in will be your and your spouseís salaries, plus any other money you have coming in from investments etc. The money going out is everything you spent from your rent or mortgage to grocery money. Your budget should calculate a running balance of where you stand for the month.

Identify Where You Are Wasting Money

Listing every dollar you spend each month will help you identify you were you may be wasting money. Spending $4.50 on a Mocha Late in the morning may not seem like a big deal, until you realize you are spending it 20 days a month making your Mocha Late total for the month $90.00, more than your cable bill. Having your monthly expenses on paper or in a spreadsheet can be a real eye opener when it comes to identifying where you may be wasting money each month.

Start Saving

Now that you identified where you were wasting money and are spending less than you are making, you can start saving money. Set some money aside and pay off your consumer debt such as credit cards. Just imagine how much you will save each year by not paying interest on that debt. Once your consumer debt is paid off, start setting up an emergency savings account. You should have enough money in this savings account to keep you going for at least 3 months. After that use your savings for a family vacation, your kidís college education, and of course your own retirement.
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