If you’re a guy who doesn’t want to make a budget plan for himself, we don’t blame you. Budgets sound boring, tedious, and a little intimidating — and we always imagined having one would force us to stop spending money on fun stuff like booze, gambling, and fast cars.
But making a budget plan doesn’t have to make you miserable — and it can even prevent it. “Most people only become aware of their finances once there’s a problem,” says financial whiz Liz Weston, author of The 10 Commandments of Money ($12 @ Amazon.com). In other words, if you make a budget before there’s a problem, there won’t be a problem.
And we know how to make it easy in three easy steps …
1. Pay Off Your Credit Cards
Okay, that’s easier said than done — but if you’re buried in credit card debt, we’ll show you how to get out of it. Point is, you’ve got to do whatever it takes to make it happen. Let’s say you charge a $1,000 TV and then pay the minimum $25 per month with a (modest) 17 percent interest rate. It’ll take you almost five years to pay it off … and you’ll have paid an extra $452 in interest.
“The only way to use credit cards is to pay your balance off in full each month — even if that means eating Ramen noodles until you receive your next paycheck,” Weston says.
NEXT: TRACK YOU SPENDING