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10
Be Flexible

Balancing Your Checkbook

If you're one of the many who have no idea how to balance a checkbook, you may get a little nervous about learning how. But don't despair. There are many Web sites, which can help, or your bank officer will show you how. The first step is to make yourself list every check you write in your register. Or, to be sure you don't forget, you can get carbon copy checks.

­Remember that life is unpredictable, and things happen that are out of our control. When­ you make a budget, try to allow some extra money for variable expenses. And, be gentle with yourself if you go over your budget sometimes. It can be hard to get back on track ­if you let yourself get too frustrated over a mistake or two.

­Follow­ing these tips can help you stick to your budget. You can prepare for a major purchase without having to borrow more than is absolutely necessary, and you can feel good about keeping your finances under control. Make sure you update your budget regularly, and prioritize your spending -- know what is important enough to be worth your hard-earned money. Budgeting will come more easily the longer you stay with it, and you will reap the rewards in years to come. Above all, remember that budgeting is worth the effort. Keeping on budget can make your entire life run more smoothly, since so many things are affected by your financial status.

For more information on budgets, saving money and related topics, see the links on the following page.

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