THE BASICS OF BUDGETING (AS REPORTED BY STEVE ROUSSEAU ON WWW.DIGG.COM)

Everyone should have a budget, regardless of where they are in life. An accurate budget can do a few things for you. First, it gives you a clear picture of money in and money out. Second, it keeps you from spending more than you can afford. And third, the simple act of keeping a budget can make you smarter about how you spend your money.

To begin, figure out how much money you make on a monthly basis. Once you know that, you can apply the 50-20-30 rule: 50% of your income goes to pay for necessities, 20% to savings or pay down debt, and 30% to spend however you like. This basic rule ensures you are putting your money in the right places and not spending more than you earn.

For a comprehensive guide to budgeting, read the full article here.

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