In the first part of these free credit report repair tips, we saw how to work out how much you will need for different types of expenses. Here’s how to turn that into a monthly budget plus some extra secrets that will help you to sort out your finances with as little pain as possible, permanently.

4. Your Monthly Budget

Your monthly budget is: fixed expenses + large flexible expenses + spending money for one month.

If this is around the amount that you have in income, congratulations! You have a realistic budget. If it is a little over, look to see if you can reduce some of your flexible costs.

If this figure is way over what you have coming in, you will need to do some serious thinking about how to either cut your expenses or increase your income. Assuming your budget did not include a lot of unnecessary goods, increasing income is probably best.

5. How To Handle The Money

For the fixed expenses, simply keep an account of what they are, so that after 12 months you can create a new, more accurate budget for the next year.

For large flexible expenses you have a certain allowance per month. Even though you may use credit cards to purchase these items, don’t go over the budget and be sure to pay off the amount that you spent, the next month (plus any minimum payment for amounts that you owe). If you want something and you don’t have the money this month, wait until next month. Spend less each month if you can, so you have a little extra for Christmas or a vacation.

Then withdraw the weekly budget amount for your food, gasoline etc from the bank in cash each week on a Thursday. Buy all that stuff with cash, never use a card at the grocery store. If you have spent it all before next Thursday you have to wait. On the other hand, if you have plenty left, you get to keep it. You may want to take it out of your purse or wallet and save it somewhere for an emergency or a special treat.

Why Thursday? Because it makes sure you have enough money for the weekend. If you take your cash on a Monday you may sometimes have nothing left by Friday and most people would then be tempted to spend more. Running out of cash on a Monday or Tuesday and waiting until Thursday to get more is not such a big deal for most people.

6. Making It Last: Secrets To Keep A Hold Of That Cash Right Through The Week

If you need gas in your car to get to work, fill the tank as soon as you have your week’s cash. If one full tank is not enough for the week, keep that money separate from your other cash, or include gas in your monthly expenses instead and pay by card.
Never buy things that you don’t need just because they are on special, and don’t buy bulk to save a few cents unless it is something that you use every day. If you buy a lot of stuff that you won’t use right now, you will not have enough money for the things that you do need.
If kids are always asking for candy and toys and you find it hard to say no, give them a weekly cash budget too and have them make their own decisions. Sure, the first time they may be sick on candy on the first day, but they will soon learn.
Writing down every cent that you spend can be real helpful in seeing where you could save more, especially in the first few weeks.
Congratulations! You graduated from free credit report repair school.