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Budget Help & Mapping Your Future

Budget Help
A budget is an earning and spending plan for you and your family, and is essential for achieving financial responsibility. Our Budget Planner will help you create a monthly budget for you and your family. To create an effective budget, follow these steps:

List your financial goals.
Your goals are financial outcomes that you want to achieve. They can range from “Pay off my Visa card,” to “Buy a house,” to “Retire at age 55.” Unless you actually state your goals, they are unlikely to occur. Make separate lists for your short-term goals (to be achieved within a year), your medium-range goals (within five years), and your lifetime financial goals.
 

GO TO OUR CALCULATORDetermine your income.
Calculate the net dollars received, after all deductions, by all earners in your household. Do not count in overtime pay; you can’t rely on receiving it. If you get overtime pay, great! Put it into savings. But don’t put it into your budget.

In the Income section of the Budget Planner, enter all of the income your family receives in a month.  

GO TO OUR BUDGET PLANNER CALCULATORS:
Quick Budget Planner Calculator - Detailed Budget Planner Calculator

GO TO OUR CALCULATORDetermine your expenses.
Compile all of your spending records for the past year. Separate fixed expenses (payments that do not change from month to month, such as rent or your student loan payment) from flexible expenses (costs over which you may have more control). Be honest.

In the Expenses section of the Budget Planner, list all of your planned spending for a month.
 
You will notice that, as you enter expenses, the Remaining field under Income changes, to show you the effect of what you just entered. When you are finished, you may print the form for your records.  

GO TO OUR LOAN CALCULATOR NOW

Stick to your plan.
Creating the budget is just one step in achieving financial responsibility. You will also need to keep good records of your spending, and regularly check to see if you are sticking to your budget. As your income and expenses change, be sure to change your budget.

Mapping Your Future
Mapping Your Future is a national collaborative, public-service project of the financial aid industry, bringing together the expertise of the industry to provide free college, career, financial aid, and financial literacy services for students, families, and schools. This site offers great Financial Fitness tools.

Good luck!




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