2. Take Charge of Your Spending

Once you’ve got your financial systems in place, the next step is coming to grips with your spending.

A lot of budgeting advice focuses on the little expenses—the lattes, the dinners out, the ATM fees. The real key to a sustainable budget, though, is in managing the big expenses.

My two favorite budgeting systems acknowledge that fact. They approach the issue of how much to spend in different ways, though, and which you should use depends on how much budgeting help you need.

If you

  • Typically get through the month without running out of cash
  • Only occasionally get surprised by a big bill
  • Usually don’t carry credit card debt
  • Feel like you’re doing okay financially but would like to do better

...then you would probably ...

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