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By Connie Barker
Debt is very stressful to many people. In fact, millions lose sleep, have difficult relationships with their spouses and are unable to buy the things they need because of debt. If you have found yourself deep in debt, don’t despair, one tool to use to determine the amount of debt you are in and how to lower it is the budget.
Create a Budget
Creating a budget can’t be stated enough. For something so easy to do, a budget can easily open your eyes on your current financial situation and give you easy insights on things to do to save more money and climb out of debt. A budget is simple to create; you just need a pen and a piece of paper. Create two columns with one side for all the income you take in each month and the other side for all the expenses you have for the month. Total up each column and then compare.
When you are able to compare your income to expenses column you will instantly see your current financial situation. If you have more income than expenses, you are in good shape. You can probably look at your expenses and streamline them a little better to save even more money, but for the most part you are not deep in debt and should not stress out.
For those that find themselves with about as much income as debt, you should be concerned. You will need to cut excess spending each month so that you can save more money to pay off creditors and to save for a rainy day or to save for a big purchase. Look at your expenses column and figure out which expenses are unnecessary. You might notice that you are spending too much on entertainment, eating out or clothing. These expenses can usually be cut with just a little bit of discipline, enabling you to live more comfortably saving more money in the long run.
If you look at your budget and your expenses are more than your total income, you should be very concerned. This means that you are living beyond your means and are racking up debt that can threaten your future. In order to stop digging yourself deeper in debt, you will need to cut spending or raise your income immediately. Since most people don’t usually like to take on a second job, it might be easier to first try and cut back on expenses. You can do this simply by looking at your monthly expenses and determining which ones are non essential. In fact, you can look at all your expenses and determine which ones you really don’t need or use. It can be as easy as eating out 2 times per week instead of four, cutting back on your entertainment costs, cutting back on your cable plan, etc. Internet access can be free from the library cutting an expense there. Groceries purchases can be saved by purchasing off brands. There are many ways to cut expenses, just look at your budget and see what you can live without.
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