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Learn to budget

If I ruled the world everyone would have enough money to live and kids would be taught basic personal finance lessons from a very young age.  Unfortunately that’s just not the way of the world.  However, just because that’s not the current state of personal finance it doesn’t mean that’s the way it always has to be.

Not everyone is naturally good with money; some of us learn how to manage money from our parents at a very young age and some others learn how to be financially responsible later on in life.  For some of us setting a budget, living within our means and avoiding debt just comes naturally, for others they learn the hard way.

If your current financial situation is less than perfect don’t worry, the situation can only be temporary – if you want it to be.  You can overcome financial hardship if you make a solid effort to change your ways.

Here are some tips to help you learn to budget at any age.  They’re also helpful ways to teach your kids about living on a budget and ensure they grow up to be financially responsible adults.

Live within your means

The only way to make sure you live in the black and not in the red is to spend less than you make every month.  If more money is coming in than going out then your balance sheet will always be in the positive.  I know for some people this is easier said than done.

One of the best ways to make sure you live within your means is to keep track of your spending. You can use a budget software such as Mint.com or a budget tool with your bank.  You can also write down your income and expenses in a spending journal or download our budget spreadsheet.  Just look over there to the right. —>>>

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Just say no and walk away

Temptation to spend can sometimes get the best of us, trust me I know.  However sometimes you just have to enforce self control.  Avoid window shopping if the temptation is too overwhelming and if you find yourself getting caught up in the hype of pretty new shoes and elegant new dresses just walk away.

Live on cash

Living on a budget doesn’t mean you have to live without the things you love, you just need to set financial priorities to decide where you want to spend your money.  Living on a budget means you live with expenses you can afford in order to achieve all of your financial goals.

One way to do this is via controlled spending.  If you allocate a certain amount of money each week for personal spending take it out in cash to avoid overspending.  I love living on a cash budget because when your cash runs out you can’t spend anymore – that’s the beauty of controlled spending.  You can’t spend what you don’t have.

 

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