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Are you making progress towards your goals?

Evaluate & Adjust Your Plan

When you add up your monthly expenses, do you notice any surprisingly large numbers? Did you spend $100 at restaurants or on yet another new outfit? Did you spend more on electronics than food?

Begin with such "wants" that you may be overindulging in. For each type of "want," decide on a reasonable monthly limit that will help you balance your budget. Would it help you reach your goals if you limited yourself to spending $40 a month at restaurants and did more shopping at the grocery store? Can you get by without a monthly clothing or electronics expenditure, making such purchases only after you reach savings goals? Set a cap on your "want" expenses and see if you've balanced your budget.

If you can't trim enough from your "wants" in order to balance your budget, you will need to reduce your variable needs expenditures in the short-term and perhaps your fixed needs expenditures in the long-term. This may mean taking the bus instead of driving and finding less expensive housing next year.