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After a couple of months, you can begin to see a trend with a program like MS Money. I prefer Quicken but MS Money syncs’ to my handheld computer easier so I’ve been learning that.

We have also been successful on the program where you pay off a credit card and then close it. We have eliminated two cards so far, and are well on our way on the other ones. It does work much better than making the minimuns everywhere and making payments on each. Find some extra money and get one paid off. Then when it’s gone, you take the minimum that you were paying on that one and apply it to another one. Pretty soon they will disappear and make sure you close them. That is the key.

Buh bye Brick card, and buh bye Leons. Thank you for playing Teppermans.

We each have one credit card with fairly low interest rates that we use sparingly.

It might help to eliminate some bills if you can as well.

I remember when I was a teenager and our household bills were telephone, oil (we used wood for a wood furnace, but oil as backup), mortgage, insurance, and a car payment.

Nowadays we have cell phone, home phone, wife’s cell phone, gas, water heater, internet access, mortgage, insurance, car payment, two or 3 or 10 credit cards, kids. The world sure is changing fast, and I’m only 34. The key is to cut back where possible.

If you own your home, it’s FAR cheaper to buy the water heater than it is to rent it. Find out if you can buy it out. The money you save on rent easily covers replacing it in 10 years.

Oh, and if your kids aren’t too small, turn the thermastat back two degrees, and wear a long sleeved shirt in the winter. You will cut your gas bill by 1/3.

I recommend sitting down every month and doing a written budget TOGETHER. decide Together where every dime is going before you spend it. Any extra MUST go to paying off debt.This is also a good time to stop using credit cards.Try it for 3 months and you will be amazed at how much less you spend.Tracking with Quicken is also a good idea. If you do this TOGETHER, he will never have to worry about where the money went. He will already know and also see that you have more than before.
STICK TO THE WRITTEN BUDGET.

My advice: purchase Quicken or MS Money (I only know about Quicken) and set up your accounts so you can track you spending by Categories. Then you can see exactly where your money is going, esp in the “Dining Out” and “Entertainment” categories. Do it for 3-6 months, you’ll be surprised how much money goes for non-essentials. And don’t forget to track cash ATM withdrawals! Good luck, you will find a lot of good advice at this group.

Other software is discussed in this video: