Key to saving money starts with a budget

According to the 2010 survey conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, 56% of Americans don’t have a budget.

One reason so many consumers struggle is because they don’t have a handle on their income versus with expenses. Without this financial yardstick measure income versus outgo, it’s easy to get in the habit of spending money and ignoring regular savings for retirement, emergencies and large purchases.
The average American earns about $38,000 per year, according to Net pay after deducting withholding, social security and the like is around $2500 net pay per month.


Next, you can establish monthly expenditures. As you can see from figures below, it's very easy for the entire income to be consumed. It's a tight budget.

You can use these two basic charts as a starting point for your family budget. Or, you can use a software budgeting tool or website like to track spending habits. Make it a habit to review your money flow each month. As always, remember to pay yourself first.

If you are having trouble making ends meet, consider second jobs or other ways to earn extra money.