Finding A Personal Budget That Can Work For You

A good way to prevent yourself from digging yourself further and further into debt is to form a personal budget that can work for you. Many people spend their hard earned money frivolously without having much regards to how much money they will have left before their next paycheck comes. They will often find themselves having no money left and ending up having to borrow from a lender just to pay essential bills or provide for their family. The problem with this type of spending is that you tend to incur debts that will begin to cause added problems with your finances that you become unable to pay off your debts when needed.

This is not the correct way of handling your finances. By creating a personal budget you will begin to plan all of your financial aspects and prioritizing items. Eventually you will achieve a successful financial situation you will enjoy. The first thing you need to do is take a careful assessment of your needs on three different basis:

• Short Term
• Medium Term
• Long Term

Ask yourself a few questions, what are you objectives? What is it you would like to achieve over time? What are your targets for your budget? Make a list of all of these things, then you should begin to layout your financial means.

Itemize your income and your expenses monthly, then itemize the expensive starting with the most important ones, important expenses, and then least important. Find and implement a prioritizing formula that will work well for you and your situation. Assess your consumption costs monthly write your figures down. After you have done this, jot down your sources of income and what each one brings in on a monthly basis. Place your expenses on the right and your income on the left hand side. Add each column up then subtract to find the difference. You will want to figure out rather you have a deficit or surplus.

Figure out what you can actually afford and amend the budget, once you have established a working budget that will help you, print it out and stick to it. Sticking to the budget is perhaps the most important aspect of creating a personal budget. If you fail to adhere to the budget, you will not have helped your financial situation by any means, it is likely you will only further your debt.

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Financial Plans: What Are Americans Banking On?

Americans tend to have an optimistic view of retirement-but a recent poll found many people still have a lot of work ahead of them before they can leave their jobs.

For instance, 47 percent of respondents said their retirement savings will last them 10 to 20 years. Those numbers seem promising until you consider that people should be actually planning for 30 years. Similarly, nearly half of all Generation X respondents said they expect to rely on pensions to help fund retirement. The plan may seem sound, but experts warn that many pension plans in the U.S. are at risk of going belly up. Plus, fewer than a third of all companies now offer pension plans.

The poll was sponsored by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) in an effort to better understand the American public’s approach to savings and retirement. The group sponsors a Web site called 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy ( to help people come to terms with financial issues at different life stages. Here’s a look at some additional polling results:

Paying For Retirement

Younger Americans do not plan to rely as heavily on Social Security for retirement as do older Americans. Close to six in 10 people age 55 and older plan to fund their retirement through Social Security. Only four in 10 (41 percent) of Americans under the age of 55 are counting on Social Security to fund their retirement. Instead of relying on Social Security, those under 55 are more likely to rely on their personal savings and investments.

College Costs

About three in 10 Americans have a child who is planning on going to college in the next five to 10 years. One quarter of these parents plan to pay for their child’s education with personal savings, another quarter intend for their child to earn scholarships to pay for tuition. Surprisingly, only 13 percent of respondents plan to use private student loans and just 12 percent plan to fund their child’s education with financial aid.

Financial Concerns

Rising energy and home-heating costs and uninsured medical expenses rank as the highest financial concerns for Americans (15 percent each). Retirement and the price of gas (13 percent each) follow closely behind. Education costs are also a concern as 9 percent of respondents worried about their child’s college education and 7 percent worried about their own college education.

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