By Allison Berger via Iris.xyz

As Americans, we hate to budget.

Spending money is so much more fun, but imprudent spending can put us in all kinds of trouble.

I am always a proponent of using a pay yourself first strategy.  Setting aside a specified percentage of your income to savings before you spend can save a lot of headache on the budgeting side of things.  Of course, life is not always this simple.

In many cases we meet with clients who are in their 40s and 50s and accustomed to a certain standard of living.  In some of those same cases, they have earned a high income for the majority of their career and have been able to save and invest while also enjoying a comfortable lifestyle.  But there comes a point where you have to examine whether that standard of living is sustainable in to your golden years when your steady income declines or stops coming in altogether.

When Surprise Happens

In the toughest cases this can be sprung on you in the form of company downsizing, a forced early retirement, or changes in health.  This is where the hard work begins.  If you find you need to reduce your standard of living to meet your long term goals or even to make ends meet, take a close look at where your money is going.  This will help you identify places you can cut.

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