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Budgeting 101
The best way to help a guy live within his means is with a budget; however, the word
"budget" stirs up all kinds of negative thoughts about going without things. That's so far from
the truth.

Think of your budget as a PLAN and you'll have more success in keeping yourself out of debt
and still enjoy the products and services that you want or need.

Before you begin that plan, let's take a good look at your income and expenses. We will start
out with what the experts say are safe and sane ratios to stay within when trying to get and
stay out of debt and still enjoy the things you want and need.

Housing should not exceed 36% of your take home pay ($360 for every thousand you take
home after taxes). Housing costs should include electric and gas heating, if applicable.
Unemployed, disabled, many seniors and minimum wage earners will need to be very creative
in adhering to this advice. There aren't many places for rent (or purchase) that will make this
figure practical but with only 100% of your income to work with, this figure should be a sane
guideline to avoid debt, bankruptcy and/or foreclosure at some point in your life. Check out
the menonabudget "housing" link for tips on reducing your housing expenses.

Transportation costs for car owners should not exceed 20% of your take home pay. Again,
20% of $1,000 take home ($200/mo) won't buy you much of car, feed it with gasoline, and
have it repaired or have routine maintenance done. Even if your car is paid in full, it's unlikely
you will only have one vehicle in your lifetime. Do you really NEED a vehicle and its expense?

Food is probably the second most expensive budget category, even for a single person, if he
wants to eat smart. The menonabudget "Food" links will offer some help in cooking,
shopping, planning, dieting, and making the right choices (or at least better choices). Try to
stick to under 10% of your take home income in this section. It CAN be done! We'll show you
how!!!

Insurance (medical, rental, house, auto) is not something that you look forward to paying but
allocate at least **% of your take home pay to protect yourself from catesphroic issues that
could bankrupt you. We will also examine various preventative measures you should take and
discounts to ask for.

When it comes to
Debt, it's not to late to get out of debt or to get your debt ratio to under
10% of your take home pay. With menonabudget, we will look at ways to save in other
categories of spending without forcing you to sit home eating Ramen Noodles every night.
Let's get creative!

Disposable Income is what's left for those fun times and should not exceed X%.

Finally,
savings is where we usually lose people because the familiar "I don't earn enough
money to save. Is that really true?  We will address that myth and many others if you choose
to stick with other Men On A Budget. Plan to sock away at least 10% for a rainy day... there's
no question of *IF* you'll need it but *WHEN* you'll need it!!!

Questions? Please email me ... ray@menonabudget.com
MORE ON BUDGETING COMING SOON