Budgeting is key for staying on track

Make text smaller Make text larger

  • Planning ahead: give every dollar a job for the coming month

    Planning ahead: give every dollar a job for the coming month


Dear Dave,

Do you have any tips for how single people can stay on track with their finances?

— Deb

Dear Deb,

The first thing I’d suggest is the same advice I give to married couples, and that is to spend less than you make, and live on a written, monthly budget.

Sit down at the end of each month and write down — on paper — all your expenses and income for the upcoming month. Give every dollar a job, then spend everything on paper before the month begins.

When you think about it, budgeting isn’t that difficult. All it takes is a little time and a few basic math skills. Some expenses, like your mortgage payment or rent, will be the same. If you have a car payment, it should remain constant, as well.

Things like utilities and groceries may fluctuate a little based on the time of year, but you can formulate pretty accurate estimates by looking at past months.

Another thing I would recommend is finding a mature, trustworthy friend or family member to act as an accountability partner. This person should also be good with money, and your relationship should be strong enough that they’re not afraid to call you out if you start behaving irresponsibly with your cash.

Sit down, just the two of you, once a month and talk about your finances. You can even go over your income and budget line by line if it helps. The point in this scenario is to get support from someone who cares about you, and is willing to be there — and help hold you accountable — for the financial decisions you’re making.

— Dave

Dave Ramsey is CEO of Ramsey Solutions. He has authored seven bestselling books, including The Total Money Makeover. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 13 million listeners each week on 585 radio stations and multiple digital platforms. Follow Dave on the web at daveramsey.com and on Twitter at @DaveRamsey

You must be registered or signed-in to post comment or to vote.

Published Nov 11, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated Nov 10, 2017 at 8:02 pm)

Budgeting is key for staying on track

What you
Need to
Know
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon

  • Take Our Poll

    Today's Obituaries