BUDGET, DON'T FUDGE IT: Keep track of your spending.
A family budget isn't a set of spending handcuffs, as many people might think. In fact, it's your spending passport: a plan for how to spend your money, guilt-free, every single month. – knowing that you're making your long-term financial health your top priority.
If you do your banking online, you may find that it's relatively easy to get a quick overview of your current spending habits. Where's the money going now? Many people are surprised when they start analyzing their credit card statements and bank records.
Next, map out a spending plan that will ensure you prioritize your debt payments, your fixed costs and an emergency fund – then build a plan for how to manage all of your flexible spending to ensure you get to the end of the month before you get to the end of your money.
If you find yourself losing ground – even a little – each month, then it's time to build a budget that will ensure you get back on the road to a debt-free future. As ever, if you have high-interest debt outside your mortgage, start with a call to mortgage broker.
SOURCE: Bryan Guertin's Blog