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Share the Responsibility

Make sure you're not the only member of your household concerned about your budget. If you're working hard to save money, but your spouse is out spending you into debt, you're fighting a losing battle. Sit down together and make a plan to determine how much each of you will have for spending money. Remember, finances are a major cause of stress and strife in a relationship.

Cut Bad Habits

Whether it's alcohol or tobacco, if you use much of either, you know how expensive bad habits can be. Stop smoking and drinking, and put the beer/cigarette money toward your other expenses. You'll see your bills come down and your physical health will improve as well.

Use Cash

Take out enough cash to last one week at a time; it’s much easier to turn down a $60 pair of shoes when it will take the last of your week's cash. It’s an eye opening experience to realize how much you really spend when you start spending only cash, and not swiping a card!

Focus on Savings

Determine the amount of your budget that you can afford to save each month. Have it direct-deposited to your savings account. Baby step suggestion, purposely gather your coins in some sort of container, it’s something most of us do unconscientiously, making sure to include pennies. At the end of the month, go to a local grocery store with a Coin Star machine, like a Safeway, Kroger or Publix to cash in your coins and then take the cash to the bank for deposit into your savings account.

Be Flexible

Remember that life happens, things can and sometimes will get out of our control. When you make a budget, try to allow some extra money for variable expenses. And, be gentle with yourself if you go over your budget sometimes. It can be hard to get back on track if you let yourself get too frustrated over a mistake or two.

For A Debt Free Household