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Align your Budget with your Goals!

Rubber Hits the Sky BudgetSticking to a budget is hard and being realistic about your budget is even harder.

Be Realistic About Your Budget

The first step when creating your budget is to identify the amount of money you have coming in. Keeping an accurate account of all your money sources is important. Be sure to subtract your deductions for Social Security, taxes, 401(k) and any other spending account allocations that are deducted from your pay. Your final take-home pay or net income is the number to use when creating your budget.

Differentiate Between “Needs” And “Wants” 

The next step is tracking and listing your expenses. Begin by listing all your regular or fixed monthly bills such as rent or mortgage, utilities, and car payments. These expenses are your must haves or “needs.”  Next account for your variable expenses or “wants.”  These expenses may change from month to months such as groceries, gas, and entertainment. This is an area where you might find some wiggle room to cut back.

Include A Miscellaneous Category

Experts say five percent of your spendable income (the net left over from after your fixed expense) should be applied to the miscellaneous category.  This category requires a great deal of self-control. You need to spend wisely and not allow yourself to cheat.

Include Savings As An “Expense” 

Small savings can add up to a lot of money, so don’t overlook the little stuff. You might be surprised at how much extra money you accumulate by making one minor adjustment at a time. Keep All Of Your Bills and Receipts Organized.


Should I Get another Job?

spendingAre you having some trouble paying your bills? Stretching the budget every month has become an art form and barely being able to make ends meet has become the norm in this economy. So what do you do? For most of us, finding a second job is the last resort, but when faced with this decision and starting your search, you need to be flexible with yourself.

Keep in mind the reason for the second job. Having a part-time job is a good way to supplement your income to pay off debt,  or even come up with a little extra spending money. It’s a good idea to set a time frame and ask yourself, how long do I need to work this job to get back on financial track. Having an end date to work toward can give you that extra boost when you’re feeling discouraged.

Here a few easy steps to finding that extra side job:

  1. Narrow your search. Clearly defining your parameters can be incredibly helpful when looking for second jobs. By carefully the keywords, like “weekend” “evening” “freelance” “telecommute” and “part-time” really narrows the field.
  2. Look for online jobs where you can work from home and supplement your income. Freelance marketplace sites are a good way to generate some extra cash.
  3. Finally, if you’re looking for a second job in a restaurant or local store, going in person with a resume and a professional demeanor might be a successful way to get the job. Be sure to pick a slow time in the day so you can speak to someone in charge.

The best part of finding a second job is the opportunity to build your network. You never know where your potential coworker will be in a few years.