Pay your bills on time, in full with checks that do not bounce,
no matter what is happening in your life.
A budget is like a roadmap. Its a tool that can easily tell you whether you are going in the right direction or not. It helps you decide what you have to have and what would be "nice" to have. You have goals and dreams. Maybe you want to own a home, or send your children to college. You may just want to retire a few years early, take a vacation, pay off your debt - or you may just want to ensure that you can afford to pay-off all of your bills at the end of each month.
To set your budget you'll need to gather some information:
Because you have access to credit does not mean you have to use it, BE SMART and live within your means. Saving the money will always be cheaper than borrowing and be sure to know and understand what the terms of a loan are and how much it will cost you to rent their money.
Less than 20% of your income should be for installment debt, credit cards, bank loans, and student loans
BAD LUCK CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE - if it happens to you be sure to contact your creditors immediately and tell them what is going on. Then evaluate your options: