Budgeting Help That Worked For MeSome people think of having a budget as a big headache. When you are having debt problems, a budget can be like a best friend. Staying within your means feels a lot better than pulling your hair out at the end of the month trying to find extra money to pay a bill.
 
When I set up my first budget I kept the receipts from everything I spent money on. When I got home, or as soon as I got the chance, I would enter everything into a spreadsheet. In the left column I put the name of the expense and to the right how much I spent. I had some categories broken down into different sub-categories.

For instance, I had groceries and then I had junk food, pet supplies, and a spot for miscellaneous (birthdays, holidays, special occasions, etc.). I also had a place for household projects and car repairs. I did this for three months straight so I could get an accurate view of where our money was going.

Now I know you may be thinking this all seems so complicated. But unless you know where your money is going it is going to take you a lot longer to get yourself out of debt.

Once I knew what I was spending and where, I used that as a guide. I took a small notebook and broke it down into categories. At the top of the page I put the date my paycheck came in. Then on the left side I wrote each item I needed to pay with that check. Then, next to that I wrote the amount it was for, and further to the right I wrote an approximate amount if it varied every month (I always estimate high so that I may have extra instead of being short). Then, to the far right, I wrote the due date.

At the bottom I totaled all of my expenses for that pay period. I also put in the bottom right corner the amount of our pay. That should be larger than my expenses, and if not, I had to make some adjustments.
 
If you have more expenses than money at the end of your pay period, you can look at your spreadsheet to see where you can cut back to help save money.
 
Now everyone's situation is different; you need to look at your specific expenses and see where you can save more money. I will have saving suggestions in
future blogs.

Good luck in your climb out of debt and may God Bless.

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Write it down to get organized

Dennis Bauman, CareOne Services, Inc. Debt Management Plan GraduateDennis Bauman

Dennis Bauman has been on a Debt Management Plan (DMP) customer with CareOne Debt Relief Services since October of 2007 and recently graduated to become debt-free!! Dennis Bauman works in the manufacturing industry, creating floor tile. Having officially completed the Debt Management Plan, Dennis Bauman is excited to share what his experience on the DMP was like as well as what made his experience a successful one. Look for more posts under the My Journey Out of Debt blog. Compensated CareOne Debt Relief Services Blogger.