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Requested in Jobs & Money by a contributor
edited by 2cent

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Is your checking account close to zero at the end of the month? You might bounce your next check without some careful budgeting. Most people have a set amount of money coming in every month from salaries or investments. If you take the time to make a list of your bills you can keep from going into debt. These could include your mortgage, college tuition, gas/electric bills, and cable, internet, and cell phone bills and more. Estimate an average monthly amount for things like groceries, maintenance on your car, and even seasonal expenses like clothes. After you subtract all of these out of your monthly income do you have some left over?

If your calculations put you in the hole then look into cheaper alternatives for each of your expenses and consider new avenues of income (overtime, part-time jobs, etc.) to get you back in the black. Once you're well above break-even each month put that extra money into a savings account. No matter how young you are, it's never too early to think about saving for retirement in an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) or just stash it away in an emergency slush fund.

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