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If you’ve never used a budget before, the idea of setting one up can be a little daunting…especially if you’re already feeling a financial squeeze. Many people freeze up at the very thought, certain that if they try to put a budget in place, it will only confirm what they already suspect: there isn’t enough money coming in to cover all the money that needs to go out. And so they struggle on, lurching from one payday to the next, hoping they’ll somehow be able to make ends meet for just one more month.
If this sounds familiar, you’ll be pleased—and probably relieved!—to learn that setting up a budget isn’t nearly as painful (or difficult) as you think.
The truth is, having a budget in place can be incredibly freeing. You’ll know exactly how much you need for your living expenses, you’ll be able to plan for upcoming purchases, and you won’t be left scratching your head over where those extra dollars keep disappearing to. Better yet, you can begin paying off some of those debts that are sucking the life out of your finances with all those interest charges—which will free up more of your money for you.
So how do you set one up? There are tons of books, articles, and how-to’s available on the topic—just Google “how to set up a budget,” and you’ll get millions of suggested links. If the thought of having to do the research and then figure out how to customize a plan to fit your particular situation makes you want to hide under the bed, however, there’s also an easier way—and that’s with the help of a professional credit counsellor.