What's that you say? It's all just a scam by the government to make you grateful for giving you what was yours in the first place, that they took without asking?? Yep. I know. Don't care.
I'm looking forward to paying off (O-F-F, off!!) some gigantic bills that have been hanging over our heads and starting from ground zero on our budget plan again.
I have a great budget system in place, and when we (and I say we, but it's really I who does most of the spending around here) follow it, great things happen! We have less bills, we go on vacation, and money goes into this thing we created a while back called a "savings account."
If you're looking to get on track, I can recommend two helpful tools -- two things that have helped me.
- Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps. We've never gotten through all of the steps, nor have we followed them to the letter, but his advice does work and it can get your head looking in the right direction.
- Ace Money Lite (the FREE version!). I started using this program 6-7 years ago. It's really just a glorified check register. And I still use my paper register to track my checks and receipts, etc. But this program has a unique feature that has changed my life. It forecasts your spending and tracks your income so you can see your cash flow BEFORE you get into trouble. As I recall, it takes a good bit of time to set it up initially (entering all your bills - monthly, yearly, etc.), but it's so very worth it! No more bounced checks, declined debit cards, or unnecessary surprises!