Please help me learn how to make a good budget and manage to follow it? Any tips would be appreciated.
Emmanuel Stephen From Blantyre, Malawi
I really like it. I hope that some of the things on the sites help you out. I can totally relate to the whole "sticking to a budget" thing. I think it is the hardest thing in the world, I have yet to get my family on a budget that we can stick to. Maybe someday. Good Luck. (03/26/2006)
By Robyn in PA
Dave Ramsey has made a career out of helping people budget money and get them out of debt. Many suggestions and forms can be found at his website daveramsey.com. (03/28/2006)
I have to agree with Karl. Dave Ramsey's tried and true methods have saved us. We paid off huge debts in the past year and because of this I was able to quit my job as an RN and stay home with my two kids. His book "The Total Money Makeover" is a "must" read. (03/29/2006)
List out your essentials every month: rent/mortgage, utilities, car payments/insurance, loan obligations (like student loans), and essentials. Make sure you have necessary food, then pay the bills on a schedule before you spend money on anything else. If you are really tight and don't have enough for food after the financial obligations, check into assistance/food banks (sometime in life, we all need a little help, just remember to give back).
I am not familiar with the economy in Malawi, but overall, if you have a checking account with a Visa check card, you do not need a credit card. They are okay for starting out a credit history (if you are really careful), but are too tempting to use daily. Most places will accept the Visa card, because it is run like a credit card, but you are not spending money you don't have. Stick with cash if possible to buy food, gas, and essentials so you have to spend a certain amount.
With paying off huge debts, look into professional credit services or maybe check the Dave Ramsey thing (if he wrote any books, chances are they are at the library.) Most credit counseling is free. I can't see placing money down for some book or program that you do not have. You could pay bills with that same money. Kind of like paying for a job.
One more thing, while you are budgeting, always estimate up for expenses, it gives you a cushion. Like if you pay $45 a month for insurance, write it as $50. Helps cover any unexpected fees. God bless and hope this helps. (03/31/2006)
One of the best articles I have found about budgeting is by Richard Jenkins on MSN. I have modified my own based off of his approach, but it's a good framework: moneycentral.msn.com (04/25/2006)
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