• Changing careers, changing jobs, new job, new career, career transition

Creating a Budget

OK, we said it–the dreaded "B" word: budget. But some financial sacrifices may be necessary if you're going to embark on a career change, and budgeting is the best way to adjust your lifestyle and finances to accommodate these changes.

Creating a budget is a fairly easy and painless exercise once you commit yourself to actually doing it. Software programs can help, or you can do it the old-fashioned way, with a pencil and pad of paper.

Simply write down all of your monthly expenses on one side of a piece of paper and all of your monthly income on the other side. For most people, expenses will include mortgage or rent; utilities; car expenses (including insurance); groceries and food; health and life insurance premiums; cable TV, Internet and cellular phone bills; and entertainment. Some of these expenses will be fixed (like your mortgage/rent and insurance premiums, for example) and some will fluctuate.

Your goal is to make sure that the income side of the page is greater than or equal to the expense side. If you need to tighten the budget belt, start by looking at variable expenses like entertainment and eating out. Many people are amazed at how quickly "found" money adds up when they stop eating lunch out every day or stopping on the way to work for an expensive cup of coffee.

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