Create a Budget:

It’s almost impossible to save money if you don’t
know how much you are spending each month
and where these expenditures are going.  Start
with a simple budget: Create two columns- one
for income and one for expenses. You can use a
computer or just a piece of paper and a pencil.

First, if you don't know, calculate exactly how
much in net (take home) income you bring in a
given week or month. Add any income you may
have from investments or rent, gifts, etc.  Create
a total at the bottom of the page. On the
expenses column, jot down every bill you pay,
including your mortgage or rent, car payment,
transportation, entertainment- everything.  Now
total up your expenses column and compare it to
your income column.  

If your income is more than your expenses, you
are in good shape; this means you can pay off
your bills more quickly.  If the amount of income
is comparable to the amount of expenses, you
will need to cut back on non essential items and
save more.  However, if your expenses outweigh
your income, you are living beyond your means
and probably already deep into debt.  You need
to cut down on your spending immediately and
start paying off your debt.

Take another look at the list of everything you
spend your money on.  You will instantly see that
there is probably a lot of waste that you can cut.  
In fact one of the great benefits of a creating a
budget is that it will instantly tell you if you are
living beyond your means.  You might not realize
it, but you could be spending more money than
you are taking in- charging the rest on high
interest credit cards.  In order to save money,
you will need to know exactly how much your
income is each month, which bills must be paid,
which expenses can be cut and how much each
month you can put away to save.

Put Aside Money for Savings Immediately After
Being Paid

Once you receive your paycheck, make sure that
you put aside a specific amount of money before
you pay any bills or buy anything.  Paying
yourself first is an important step in ensuring
that you save a specific amount of money.  
Depending on your financial situation you can
easily save from $50 per month to thousands.  
Even at $50 per month at the end of the year you
will have saved $600.

There are also other strategies to use when
paying yourself first.  If your employer offers
direct deposit, create a second additional
account to sock away your savings.  For
instance, the bulk of your money can go into
your checking account and $50 to $200 per
paycheck can go into your special savings
account. Also see the
Retirement Planning
section and the
Investments section.

How Not to Live Beyond Your Means

Living beyond your means simply means that
you spend more money that you receive in
income. Millions of people live beyond their
means and the scariest part about it is that many
people don’t realize that they are until it’s too
late.  One way to know if you are living beyond
your means or approaching this point is create a

When you create a budget, you can instantly
compare the amount of income you take in with
the amount of expenses you make each month.  
If your income is more than your expenses
allowing you to save money, you are in the clear;
however, if your expenses outweigh your
income, you are in debt and ultimately living
beyond your means.

If you find that you are living beyond your
means, there are a few things you can do.  First
off, you can increase your income - usually by
finding a second job or trying to get a higher
paying job.    

Another way you can help your situation is by
using the budget that you have created to help
you identify expenses that you cut.  For
instance, cutting back on entertainment and not
eating out as much. In addition, you can also cut
back on certain types of expenses. You can try
to conserve energy to lower your energy bills,
you can reduce your cable bill by dropping
luxury TV packages that you subscribe to, etc.

In order to stop living beyond your means,
increasing your income or cutting back on
spending is important.  While this usually
involves discipline on your part, in the long run it
can help reduce stress and ultimately improve  
your financial situation.

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concerning any financial issue facing you. We can help. Please

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One of the fundamental questions many people
ask is how can I save more money?  Saving
money is not easy for many people that live
paycheck to paycheck or have accumulated a lot
of debt.   However, for those that have
discipline, you can easily save a big chunk of
income every pay period - here’s how.
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