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Budget For The Future

Have you sat down and really thought about your financial future? I know people are busy these days and you think "well I'm young now and I'll have time to do it later." You're dead wrong. You are NEVER too young to start saving for retirement! They say if a 25 year old puts in $2.00 a day into a savings account ($60.00 a month), buy the time he reaches 65 he'll have a million dollars. However, what is a million dollars these days - really? It's practically chump change with rising housing and cost of living expenses. So you have to make a budget to save for the future. Don't expect Social Security to kick in, they're having problems already - much less when you get to be that age! Here are some strategies to help you save for the future and your retirement:

1. Make a list of your monthly income. Include everything from your wages to gambling winnings, child support receive, alimony, and any other income you get every month.

2. Then make a list of your expenses. List everything you spend from your utilities to your cell phone bill. Also your child's violin lessons, pet expenses - everything.

3. Subtract your expenses from your income. Hopefully you are coming out ahead! If not, then you need to make smart decisions on which expenses are a necessity or a luxury. Do you really need a cell phone, or is it just convenient? Discipline yourself now and you'll thank yourself later!

4. Do this for several months. And then at the end of each month, figure out where your money went that was unnecessary. Did you go out to eat more than once a week? Did you buy your lunch instead of making a sandwich from home?

5. Put 10% of your income into a savings plan. This is the "rule of thumb" amongst investors on just how much you should be saving a month. If you make $3000/mo. then you should be saving $300. Pay yourself first!

6. Consider other options besides savings. Perhaps invest in a 401k or an IRA savings plan. Check with your banker to see which one would suit your needs and financial situation the best. Really that's all there is to it! Never take money out of your savings for frivilous purchases like a new pair of shoes or to go to a movie. That is for your future! However if your car needs a new transmission, this nest egg is there for you! It just takes a lot of self-discipline and the desire to want to have financial independence. Just apply these easy techniques and you'll be on your way!


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