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How to better budget for your future

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When we asked Marketplace Money listeners what you waste your money on, we heard from many of you who struggle with overspending on things like first-run movie rentals and nights out on the town.

Of course, getting unnecessary spending under control is an essential part of planning for the future and reaching your financial goals — goals like buying a house, having a baby or taking a big vacation — these are hard things to achieve even when you aren’t blowing money on little everyday treats.

Gail Cunnigham  is with the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, and she says the key is budgeting.  

“You know, a lot of people consider budget a four-letter word,” says Cunningham. “And I tell those folks that if they can’t tolerate thinking that they have a budget and if that sounds restrictive to them, call it a spending plan. But actually, a budget is meant to free up your money. You know, we work very hard for our money, and typically we spend it very casually, so let’s adjust those to be in a better alignment by knowing where our money goes.”

Many Marketplace Money listeners wrote in to ask how they can better budget for the future:

Click play on the audio player above to hear Cunningham’s advice.

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