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    Posted November 28, 2012 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    The fiscal cliff: Messages to Washington

    More from IllinoisVal

    Managing a Budget is NOT Rocket Science, it's Wisdom and Discipline


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     IllinoisVal says the best financial lesson she has learned as an adult is to live within her means. 'Cut up the credit cards,' she says. 'Work with cash!' She became a small business owner after being laid off during the recession, four years ago. She says after having to compete with those in their 20's and 30's for the role she previously had; she realized starting her own small business was a necessity if she wanted to be employed.

    She hopes Congress will balance the budget by cutting spending from unnecessary programs and closing loopholes. To Congress: 'Hold fast and push for spending cuts as well as balancing the budget in combination with increasing revenue in whatever way makes sense,' she says. 'Tax rate increases is not the only answer to increase revenue, closing loopholes makes much more sense. If we raise taxes it WILL cut jobs and add to job loss, but in addition, the loopholes will still work and so it really doesn't gain a thing but 8 days of added revenue.'
    - Jamescia, CNN iReport producer

    As many Americans I was a single parent and had faced my share of financial challenges in my life. My final success came when I faced that I was spending too much and in fact much more than I was making. I had a choice to make -
    1. Increase my income wasn't realistic in the short term.
    2. Borrow to pay off my bills, I already had done this and now owed money beyond which could be paid back
    3. STOP SPENDING and chip away at my debt with what income I had to work with.


    I chose #3! Realizing I was not capable of doing this myself as I had failed myself on budgeting for years, I reached out to a friend who I knew was an expert at budgeting. I hired her to help, paying her monthly.
    We sat down together and looked at what was live or die expenses, cut out what wasn't. Lived off very little from myself and daughter for the first 6 mos. Increased that each month as bills were paid off and the result was phenomenal! I was out of debt in 18 mos. still on the same amount of income only now I had money in the bank. I was free to put my money where I wanted for the first time in my life. This is the ONLY way to do this folks! Our government must STOP SPENDING, CUT BACK to what is live or die expenses until such time as we have a balanced budget in order to get out of debt or our children and their children will be saddled with this burden and they don't deserve that.


    It's the simplest of concepts and there is NO reason we as a nation should not be applying it to our deficit crisis.

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