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Money Mondays: How to Create and Stick to Your Budget

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The new year is almost here and it is the perfect time to make some important financial decisions to start 2014 on the right track.

Did you get a job, a raise or a promotion this year? If you were lucky enough to increase your income in 2013, it might be the perfect time to create a budget if you haven’t done so already. The first step toward financial independence is developing a budget and then sticking to it, which can be hard during the holidays.

Here are steps to create a monthly budget so you can plan how to pay your expenses and save for your goals:

  1. List all the income you receive and where it comes from. For example, you could list income you receive from your employer, financial assistance from Social Security, family or friends.
  2. List all your expenses including food, housing costs, transportation and other bills and daily expenses.
  3. Subtract all of your expenses from your income. If you find that you have money left over after you’ve paid for your expenses, open a savings account at your bank or credit union.
  4. If your budget doesn’t leave any room for savings, take a look at your expenses and see if and where you may be able to reduce them.
  5. After you develop a budget, be sure to review it regularly and revise it if necessary.

If you would like to learn more, read some of our other Money Mondays posts related to saving:

  1. What You Should Know About Saving Your Money
  2. Saving Under Social Security’s Plan to Achieve Self-Support (PASS)
  3. We Heard You! More about Saving Money While Receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  4. The Importance of an Emergency Fund

#Money Mondays Read more money saving tips at #MoneyMondays! When you are ready to change your life through work, try Ticket to Work. Explore our website for more information about the program, email us at, or call 1-866-968-7842 (V) or 1-866-833-2967 (TTY).

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1 Comment

Dawn says:
January 13, 2014 at 8:24 PM

didn't apply in Dec., was still expecting forms for appealing the need for a payee -- Sept. to Oct.