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Using a monthly budget planner

Are you feeling financially strapped and at your wits end trying to pay the bills? If you are in this position, the best thing you can do is sit down and evaluate where all your money really goes using a monthly budget planner. Don't let the terms scare you away because it is a simple procedure and in most cases an eye-opening experience.

Monthly budget planner

After realising your finances are a mess or could stand some improvement, take the time to organise your finances using a monthly budget planner. A monthly budget planner helps to define your monthly bills and the money you spend on extras. You can easily define your own budget by making two columns on a sheet of notebook paper. After listing your spending in black and white on paper, you can easily determine methods for improved money management.

Choose a monthly budget planner

If you prefer to use a free software monthly budget planner, there are plenty available for downloading on the Internet. Planners that are more complex are also available for purchase.

The simplest and quickest option is to get out a sheet of notebook paper to use as a planner. List your total net household income for the month at the top of the page. Label a column for monthly bills and make a second column for extras.

Filling in your monthly budget planner

Locate copies of all your current monthly bills before preparing to fill in the planner. Consider mortgages, apartment rent, car payments, insurance, telephone, power, cable, water and transportation costs such as bus fare, train or gas costs. Include food costs as well as lunches for the kids.

List each bill and amount below the column labelled monthly bills. At the bottom, list any yearly bills such as firewood expenses.

Extras

List all the spending for extras such as entertainment, cell phones or restaurants.

Analyse spending

After listing your responsibilities on your monthly budget planner, you can see where all your income is spent. Consider paying off charge cards to reduce your monthly bills. This frees up cash for other needs.

Carefully study the column for extras. Often, extras are not necessities of life. Cutting out movies and dining out may save you a significant amount of money. Freeing up cash is a great way to start saving for the future.

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