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Helpful Budgeting Tips

Clients from my Waco bankruptcy law firm will tell you that I frequently tell them that I want referrals not repeat business. That means they need to learn the skills to regain control over their finances. The most important part of regaining control over your finances is a budget. Here are some budgeting tips:

  • If you are married, you need to do your budget with your spouse. It is important that both of you understand and agree as to how the money is being spent.

  • Determine how much income you have coming in. Gather paychecks and other sources of income. If your income fluctuates determine an average income over a period of time to help you do a budget going forward.

  • Gather all of your bills. You need to face your expenses each month if you are going to have a successful budget.

  • Create a list of monthly expenses. Include your mortgage payment, car payments, auto insurance, student loans, groceries, utilities, medical expenses, savings, tithing, clothing, gasoline, pet expenses, entertainment, auto repairs, everything. Even if you don't purchase something every month, you need to include it in the budget so you save for it every month to ensure you have the money available when you need it. Good examples of items which may cost quite a bit that we only purchase once a year or so includes back to school clothes, new tires for the vehicle, and Christmas presents. If you put aside some money in your budget for these items each month of the year, these expenses won't see so large when it gets to the month you need to spend the money. You know it is coming, so save a piece at a time for them.

  • Prioritize your expenses by listing the most important at the top. See my prior blog on which bills should I pay first for more information about prioritizing you bills. (See which bills should I pay first blog—should be August 3rd)

  • Allocate amounts for expenses. At first you want to overestimate your food budget. The food budget is the hardest to estimate and is typically a budget breaker. It will take you a few months of budgeting before you get this one accurate.

  • Draw a line when you run out of money. Anything below the line will either not be paid or will need to wait until the end of the month to see if there is enough money to pay them.

If you are constantly having bills below the line, you need to rethink your budget. I read a book once that stated a truth: if you can't stay on budget, you either need to increase your income or decrease expenses. The main character in the book was not willing to decrease expenses so she raised money by selling items around her home. You have to decide what is the most important. Making and sticking to a budget is difficult, but as you gain control over your finances instead of letting them control you, you will discover true freedom.

If you are struggling with too much month at the end of your bills, explore your options with experienced staff. Call 254-870-0150 or email me at [email protected] today for a free, no-obligation consultation. Let my family help yours!


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