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Organize Finances with a Monthly Budget Planner
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Organize Finances with a Monthly Budget Planner

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not as responsible with my money as I should be. I don't have any savings to speak of, I don't have anything set aside for retirement, and I'm constantly behind on all my bills. This is a very stressful situation for me, especially now that I've got a family to take care of. I need to gain control of my finances so I can stop living paycheck to paycheck.

I started reading advice from personal finance experts, and every one of them said that the most important thing to do is use a monthly budget planner to track inflows and outflows of cash. Doing this will help me identify areas where there's a bit of room to cut corners and save money. There are a bunch of free monthly budget planners available online, so I just picked one that looked the most basic (I don't want to get in over my head right at the start) and printed it out.

I then filled in my monthly budget planner as best I could. I used old receipts and canceled checks to come up with average expenses for electricity, gas, water, groceries, cable, cell phone, insurance, and rent, which told me roughly how much I spend each month. I then looked at my paycheck stubs to calculate my average monthly income, and compared that with my expenses. As expected, I was showing a deficit, so I definitely have to cut back somewhere.

The beauty of using a monthly budget planner is that I've got all pertinent numbers and figures right in front of me, and can make much more informed decisions. For example, I can already see that paying over $100 per month for my cell phone is simply too much. I should start shopping around for a new calling plan as soon as possible. In addition, I should probably get some quotes for new insurance policies to see if I can save any money that way. Then, if anything does change, I can simply add the new figures into my monthly budget planner to see how they affect my bottom line.

I know that getting my finances back on track isn't going to be easy. It will take a lot of discipline and sacrifice on my part, but I think the peace of mind that comes with being financially stable will be well worth any temporary hardships. As long as I stick to what I've outlined in my monthly budget planner, I'll do just fine!

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