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J.G. Wentworth Blog

How to Create a Budget You Can Stick To

For some folks the question gets asked each and every month bills come in the mail:

Why can’t I make a firm budget – and then stick to it?

J.G. Wentworth talks to thousands of folks around the country with cash troubles, and many face debt obligations that might have been avoided had they been able to create – and stick with – a firm budget. While we cannot give specific financial advice, we would like to take this time to offer our two cents on what a sound, step-by-step approach to budget-making might look like. Here are five steps to creating a budget you can stick to:

Step one: Make a strict accounting of your mandatory monthly expenses

Home and car payments, food costs, utility bills, education costs, credit card payments – fix a cold, hard eye on these costs and come up with a genuinely accurate figure of what you must pay every month.

Step two: Make a strict accounting of other “non-mandatory” monthly expenses

Such expenses might include home entertainment costs, dining out charges, personal grooming bills (haircuts, gym memberships, high-end fashion goods, etc.) and others.

Step three: Tabulate your total monthly income

Include not just your regular paycheck, but also any other sources of income, including interest, pension, spouse’s salary, Social Security, and others.

Step four: Begin eliminating any “non-mandatory” expense that you know you can live without  

The goal is not to instantly eliminate all of these activities, for doing so would quickly and severely damage your quality of life. Instead, begin finding places you can save, start implementing cuts, and check in with yourself monthly, to see both how your budget is doing and how you are handling these changes personally.

Step five: Reward yourself each and every month that you’ve met your budgetary goal

It may seem counterintuitive, but spending a little extra money at the end of every month to treat yourself to something will give you a psychological boost and provide you with something positive to look forward to. In the long run, this will benefit you both financially and personally, and make it much more likely you will keep yourself on track.

Of course we understand how much easier it is to offer this advice than follow it! To reach out to one of our account executives, or for more information about how you may be able to lessen your debt by selling your future structured settlement or annuity payments to our company for cash now, call us anytime at 877-227-4713.

Nothing above is meant to provide financial, legal or tax advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.