How to Budget

Pioneer Loan - Helping You Manage Your Money

Budget Suggestions From Pioneer Loan Center.

Short term loans are great for those unexpected bills or maybe a vacation, but you should not treat them like long term financing.

If you have trouble saving or making your paycheck stretch until the next check. Our advice is to start with a budget. If you're like most of us, you'll be surprised at how much you spend on luxuries.

-A budget has two parts, income and expenses.-

Start by writing down all sources of steady income.
--Do not include:
  • Over-time, this can quit at any time, regardless of what your supervisor promises
  • on again off again side jobs
  • or child support (unless the support is certain, not just promised)
    Steady second jobs are ok

  • Now that you've written down your income you're ready for the next step.


  • Mortgage or rent
  • Electric
  • Natural gas
  • Water
  • Garbage pick-up
  • Home phone
  • Cell phone
  • Groceries
  • Laundry
  • Clothing

  • Car payments
  • Insurance
  • Gas
  • Bus fare

  • Credit card payments
  • Other loan payments
  • Child care
  • Spending money
  • Coffee, cigarettes, etc.
  • Cable TV or satellite service
  • Internet access
  • Dining out

  • Additionally you need to keep a journal of everything you spend.

    I know that this is not something you want to do, but it will tell you where your money went, and you'll be surprised how much you spend on junk food and little items.


    Total your income then, total your expenses: If what you spend exceeds what you bring in, you need to cut back.

    Get your children a prepaid cellphone, so when their minutes run out, they're out. Otherwise the kids will text msg the person sitting next to them, because they don't have to pay the bill.

  • Eliminate cable/satellite service or cut back on extra subscription channels.
  • If you have internet access, choose the slower option, I know you hate to wait, but speed is rarely anything but a luxury.
  • Cut back on smoking if you can. (Easier said than done, but with the price of cigarettes it will save a lot)
  • Cut back on coffee and coke. Drink water.
  • Take lunches to work instead of eating fast food.
  • Shop around for cheaper home and auto insurance.
  • Use coupons to save money on groceries.
  • Rent videos instead of going to the movies.
  • Turn down the water level on your washing machine and dishwasher if it is adjustable.
  • When you leave the room turn the lights off.
  • Turn the heat or air conditioning down while you are not home.
  • Don't overheat or over cool when you are home. If you can stand it at 80 degrees in the summer, don't turn the A/C to 67. - Ceiling fans help
  • Use long distance less. Use email or write letters instead of calling.


    If you don't think you can make some of these suggestions work, call a credit counselor.
    Click here for Consumer Credit Counseling, a United Way nonprofit agency.

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