On a Budget

Q: I am 55 years old, and I had a problem spending. Now I’m trying to set up a budget and stick with it, but I need help. How can I get started?
— H. DeBerry, Via the Internet

A: Here’s a neat trick that will help you set up a budget. Start tracking what you spend. Sounds simple enough, but many of us spend blindly, rarely realizing how much we’re actually outlaying on a monthly basis. So get a notepad and jot down every purchase you make over the next month to get an accurate picture of where your money is going.

If you don’t want to go the traditional route, consult the book Girl, Make Your Money Grow! A Sister’s Guide to Protecting Your Future and Enriching Your Life by Glinda Bridgforth and Gail Perry-Mason (Broadway; $19.95). In it, you’ll find a budgeting plan that will help you see where your money is being spent according to categories such as entertainment, bills, and groceries.

Once you know where you’re spending your money, identify where you can cut costs. For example, if lunch costs you $10 a day, that’s $50 a week, $200 a month. If you bring in your lunch two weeks out of the month, you’ll save $100, which you could place in an investment vehicle. For more help, order the BLACK ENTERPRISE Wealth Building Kit at 877-WEALTHY or log on to www.black enterprise.com and click on Black Wealth Initiative.