Originally created 08/22/06

The essentials

Want some tips on how to study for a test? Need advice on how to balance a checkbook? Each week Essentials will offer practical advice for teens on some aspect of life.

Here are some tips on how to start a budget, according to Patti McGrath, a marketing specialist at Augusta Metro Federal Credit Union:

To create a budget, you need to know how much money you have coming in (this is your income), and how much money you are spending (your expenses or expenditures).

- Calculate your income. Add up all the money you receive from jobs, gifts and allowances each month.

- Calculate your expenses. For two weeks, write down every purchase you make. Multiply that total by 2, so you can make a guess of how much you spend each month.

- Compare the total income to expenses. You should have more income than expenses. If you don't, you'll have to adjust your spending.

- Save up. If you want something that costs more than what your income allows, start saving for it. Write down the cost of your wanted item. Divide the amount of extra money you have each month into the cost of the item you're saving for.

Have questions about starting your budget?

Contact Ms. McGrath at patti.mcgrath@augustametrofcu.org

- Kamille Bostick


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