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The What, Why and How of a Budget Plan

What is a Budget Plan?

A budget plan is a chart that shows you the flow of money in your everyday life. A budget can help you determine where you are overspending as well as help you adjust bad spending habits. By making slight adjustments to your budget, you may have the ability to save more or make larger payments on your debts.

Why Do I Need a Budget Plan?

Every day, thousands of consumers face financial crises. These can be caused by personal or family illness, or loss of job, but the most common cause is overspending. By tracking your spending you will know exactly where your money is going.

Our society encourages consumers to "buy now, pay later," offering credit cards and convenience to spend more everywhere we look. This is why it is so easy to get carried away with spending, and eventually end up "knee-deep in debt." A budget is designed to help consumers gain control of their spending, and with proper planning it can help to improve your financial situation.

How to Create a Budget Plan

Start by keeping track of all your monthly living expenses and other monthly bills. There is a vast selection of budgeting software out there, but they all cost money. Creating a budget can be done by simply using a spreadsheet on a computer, or recording on a piece of paper. For assistance in creating your budget plan, download free helpful tools at the top of this page.

How Do I Maintain My Budget Plan?

You need to control your emotions and impulses that stimulate your desire to spend money. You should keep close track of what you spend every day. Ask yourself "Do I really need to buy this? Maybe I should bring my lunch instead of eating out." Try to cut back on your "fixed" monthly expenses. You should always be able to cut back on your personal care, hobbies, and entertainment.

(continue on to 12 Reasons Budgeting Can Improve Your Life)...

American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) provides nonprofit credit counseling, debt management services, credit relief and debt relief help to consumers nationwide. Our free credit counseling services help individuals and families learn how to manage debt more effectively and how to get rid of debt more quickly. Our certified credit counselors show consumers the various ways to pay off debt, and we offer affordable debt management programs for getting rid of credit card debt by consolidating debt payments. Our debt negotiation services help with managing credit card debt and paying off debt more quickly by reducing interest rates and finance charges. And our financial education services help consumers manage money more effectively, find reputable debt consolidation companies and answer questions like "How do you consolidate debt?"

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