Setting a budget

Easy right?
Ha, not really. But everyone, even young adults should be conscientious enough to begin getting into the habit of creating a budget they can reasonable live off of.  Americans are notorious for living beyond their means and as you can see by the past credit score our country took a hit at, even our government has a problem.

You need to start with the basics such as:

  • Mortgage/Rent
  • Utilities (gas, electric)
  • Trash/sewage
  • Phone
  • Petrol (yes especially these days)
  • Groceries
  • House/Car insurance
  • Entertainment
  • Clothing allowance

Creating a budget was something I also instilled upon my daughter as being important to living relatively stress free and ensuring good credit. It starts young and parents need to teach their children the value of a dollar.  Giving an allowance and opening up a savings account is a good way to start.


Kiplinger’s gives sound advice on how to stop living paycheck to paycheck. Hard but can be done:

Track spending and watch expenses

“People who live paycheck to paycheck have to take a hard look at what they’re spending money on,” says Kathleen Campbell, president of Campbell Financial Partners in Fort Myers, Fla. “It’s like when you try to lose weight and you don’t think you eat that much — until you start counting calories. It comes down to trimming what you spend and maximizing where your money is going.”

Start by tracking your spending on a daily basis — down to how much you paid for a cup of coffee. Campbell suggests using a notepad, software such as Quicken or a free budgeting Web site, such as, to record everything on which you spend money. The list needs to be more detailed than just “groceries, $400; gasoline, $200.” Write down exactly what you bought and how much it cost.

Don’t stop with the obvious expenses such as utilities, gasoline, food and recreation, though. Look at how much you’re spending (perhaps unnecessarily) to maintain bank or investment accounts or pay down debt. High fees on checking, savings and retirement accounts can eat away at your earnings. And high interest rates on credit cards and loans can force you to pay more than you have to over time.

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As an adult there is no excuse for not being able to pay your bills. If you find yourself struggling find out where you can downsize and move on from there. I know I am guilty of the same and I need to ensure that am able to live well within my means.  Certainly these days it’s called for.



One thought on “Setting a budget

  1. Pingback: It’s just $$$$ honey!! | Life in These United States

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