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A Budget You Can Live With

One big problem many people face is that, while they may mean to save and invest 10% of their salary, by the end of the month they just don't have that much left. They have good intentions, but not enough discipline. There's a well-worn maxim that addresses this problem: Pay yourself first. In other words, take out money for saving and investing as soon as you get your paycheck. Then you can use what's left for your other needs.

If you want to be super-organized, you might even take it a step further. You could create envelopes for your major spending categories (such as food, clothing, entertainment, wigs, etc.), and put the money you plan to spend on each category in the respective envelope. Then, once your entertainment envelope is cleaned out, you're out of luck until the next payday. You won't end up spending money on one thing that was meant for something else.

For lots of ideas from fellow Fools on how to save money, visit our Living Below Your Means discussion board. To get budget tips from self-taught experts, drop in on our Budgeting discussion board. Once you have your budgeting under control, be sure to check out our Personal Finance area, which is chock-full of guidance on other topics of interest. You can learn about everything from buying a car or home to paying for your kids to go to college, as well as tips on banking, saving, getting out of debt, lowering your tax bill, and much more.

For more insights into budgeting, take a look at these articles:


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