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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/as-far-as-a-budget-how-can-you-make-a-budget-25204179.aspx

Subject:  Re: HERE IT IS - MY MAJOR CC DEBT !!! Date:  2/22/2007  9:18 AM
Author:  2gifts Number:  248048 of 308484

As far as a budget. How can you make a budget when you don't make enough money for the bills that are coming in.

There are lots of things in this thread that are really bothering me, but I'm not alone and other folks have been addressing those. However, I haven't seen anyone talk about this particular statement yet.

A budget is a spending plan. It is a way to organize the dollars so that you allocate some amount to each category, typically being based on your own priorities so the important things get funded and the lesser things fall off because you've run out of money.

A budget is not predicated on having enough money to pay the bills that are coming in. If you can't cover the bills, then that's a reason to have a very clear and tight budget, not a reason to not have one because you can't figure out how to make it work, so you think that if you just ignore that and keep charging, the problem goes away.

You need a budget. You need to understand how much money you have, how much you currently spend on each category, and how much you think you should be spending. Typically, people find out that they're spending more than they think and worse, they're spending it on things they do not deem important at the expense of things that are important or at the expense of spiralling debt. I suspect you're actually in both categories.

The fact remains that you cannot continue to spend so much over what comes in no matter how much you think those expenses are 'necessary.' Simply put, they are not.

I am glad that you continue to come back here for advice, but I still see too many excuses on why you cannot get rid of the discretionary expenses. It seems to me that until you can figure out the real line between necessary and discretionary expenses, you'll just be going round and round, digging that hole deeper.

This process is not going to be easy, and is not going to be pain-free. That's the reality, but unless you are willing to tackle it now and deal with it on your own terms, you are going to find yourself in bankruptcy court where someone else will make those decisions for you. I suspect that at that time, it will be even more painful and probably more costly, and not just in terms of dollars and cents.

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