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Three Simple Ways to Create a Manageable Budget

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Are constantly tired of not having enough money to go out with friends, or do what you love? Does it feel as though there is no way to get out of the red and into the black? Are you able to plan ahead for retirement or a vacation?

Many people dread the overwhelming task of creating a budget. But it will make the job easier if you look at it in another light; an important tool to financial freedom. There is a tremendous amount of help available for you. This article will show you how to choose which one suits you the best.

Creating a Manageable Budget Tip #1: Use the Right Software
Software like Quicken or Microsoft Money are both great options and tools for budgeting.  Money management software is very useful when it comes to budgeting. You can create or add spending categories, get a better picture of where your money is going, and give an overview of the "big financial picture" that you are currently in. You can then then break down what you need to look at every month so that you can be prepared.  This software helps with basic budgeting because it lets you see your money all in one place, as well as giving you prompts when it’s time to pay your your bills.  In fact, some programs will enable you to have payments automatically deducted from your bank account.  This is a great feature if you’re trying to build good credit.

Creating a Manageable Budget Tip #2: Get Professional Help
Some people can get in over their heads when it comes to budgeting. Are creditors calling you, asking for money? Are you worried about how you are going to pay your mortgage or rent this month? If so, you probably need professional help. Contact a credit counseling office in your area (search online, first) and find out what resources they have available to you.  Many offices have free classes on budgeting. Alternatively, take a money management course at your local community college if you aren't quite in crisis - yet.

Creating a Manageable Budget Tip #3: Surf the Web
Many people have such a hard time with budgeting because they simply don’t know where their money is going!  There are some great new websites such as MoneyPants that help with this issue. These web sites can track all of your spending and then help you set up your goals based on your spending habits. There is usually a low monthly fee to use web sites of this nature, however. These sites are very user friendly, and in the case of MoneyPants, even fun to use. Plus, you will have access to someone who can answer questions 24/7, and a message board where you can post questions. And of course, you can opt-in for an email reminding you when it's time to pay the bills.

As you can see, creating a manageable budget doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. By doing it right, you will get to watch, step-by-step how your financial picture changes. By taking this one, very important step, you may one day be debt free, or even own your own home.  The key is to take your time, do the process in small bites, and be sure to take advantage of professional help when you need it. You'll have a financial picture you can be proud of in no time.

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