Love yourself…pay yourself first!  When creating your budget, don’t forget to include SAVINGS.  Before you budget for bills in the present, you should budget for future needs.  The goal is to pay yourself ten percent of your take-home income; place that number in your budget.  If at the end of your budget, you are negative, then you can adjust the savings.  Keep in mind that when you are debt free, then you can increase your savings.  Be sure to save at least $1000 for emergencies before cutting your amount into savings to pay off debt.  Your next step is to save an amount equal to four months of monthly expenses. This will be for any future emergencies or a work layoff.  Once this long-term savings goal is reached, then you can increase the amount placed into retirement.