Get Your Budget in Shape for Fall

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If your wallet seems to be a bit empty this Summer, you could be spending beyond your means. To help get your finances under control and prioritize your budget for the Fall, try to get your spending under control. Here are some suggestions:

Find Out Where Your Money is Going

If you’re asking yourself what happened to all your money, you need to start tracking it. Save your receipts and write down what you purchase. Monitor your spending for several months using a budgeting app like Mint to track your money electronically.  You may be surprised by what you find.

Set Spending Goals

When you have an idea of what you’re spending, make goals to help get your budget on track and prevent excessive spending. You probably won’t be able to curb all your extra spending entirely at first. It takes time. Try doing more comparison shopping to make sure you get the best price for an item. Many discounts and coupons can be found online if you spend some effort looking.

Stay Disciplined

It has become quite easy to buy something with the simple click of your mouse. Reduce temptation by avoiding places around town and online where you’re likely to make a purchase. Try reducing your credit card use as well. Pay with debit cards, checks, or via direct payment from your accounts, so you don’t borrow money you can’t pay back. When your funds run low, make smart choices about your discretionary spending.

Eliminate Debt

If you are overspending and can only make the required minimum monthly payment, you’ll accumulate a higher balance and have a hard time eliminating your debt. The longer you carry a balance on a credit card, the more you’ll pay in interest rate charges. Make sure you don’t borrow more than you can repay in a few months. Set a goal to start paying down your debt more aggressively. Consider seeking help from a financial advisor or accountant if needed.

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