Have you ever bought somethings and then immediately felt guilty afterwards?

Maybe you even felt a little stress or guilt as you were making the purchase.

The reason that happens most often, is because, in the back of your mind you think that you should be doing something else with that money, like paying down a credit card or saving it for retirement.

The problem for some is that almost every transaction you make feels that way because you don’t really know what you can or should be spending your money on.

The answer to freeing your mind from the guilt, surprisingly, might be a budget.

Creating a budget starts with your basic expenses. These are things that you have to spend money on every month like your mortgage, rent, utilities, etc.

The second type of expenses are called lifestyle expenses. Think of it as needs vs. wants.

Where do you start?
Begin by tracking your expenses.

  • To make it easy, try using one of the free computer or smart phone apps to track your spending.
  • These apps link all of your bank and credit card accounts into one activity feed, so you can see checks, withdrawals, deposits and transactions all in one place.
  • Most transactions will be categorized for you automatically. Maintaining your budget only takes minutes per week.
  • Set alerts to notify you of transactions, and low account balances.


  1. Remember many of your expenses could vary throughout the year. Think ahead to what expenses could be coming up. (i.e. like a friends wedding in 2 months.)
  2. One of the best ways to save money is to budget in an amount for saving. Do it right away as soon as you get paid.
  3. Set aside money every pay period for the unexpected things that you know will eventually happen.
  4. Remember often overlooked budget items like Gifts, Home repairs/decorations, Car expenses etc.


Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual

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