When we were younger, our parents were in charge of paying bills. We didn’t have to worry about monthly expenses such as a water bill, but all that changes when someone starts to live independently. I never took the time as a child to look into these expenses or how to plan for paying them, so this past summer, I had to learn everything. Learning how to budget these costs takes time and strategy, so it is essential to cumulate the necessary payments to make sure you can afford to pay them. The first and most important bill is for housing. This should be the most expensive payment, unless you drive a very nice car, and should have priority over other expenditures. Next in line are transportation and food. These are still very important since these are necessities to live, but can vary depending on how much you can or are willing to spend. Then comes bills such as phone and utility bills; sometimes, apartments and condos give residents a deduction in utilities. Also, insurance can be a hefty cost since you can get insurance for your car, house, and living but is very important and reliable in a time of need. These are just the necessary monthly costs people have to make. By adding these costs up, someone can now see how much money they have leftover to spend on other living aspects. This is why budgeting is so important, and without being prepared ahead of time, your chance to fall into debt. If you realize you can’t afford your lifestyle, there are simple changes that can be made to aid you in the fight against bankruptcy. Some ways to lower these expenses are spending less money at the grocery store, living in the right house for your income, not leaving lights on in the place, and using less water. For lower transportation costs, instead of using a car, there is the option of biking or finding someone to carpool or share the car with. My roommate Mason brought her vehicle to Chico while I did not. Our solution to me not having a car was to split the cost of gas; every other time, I will fill the tank. Next, we split the price of parking, which is $60 per month. This benefits Mason since she pays less money on transportation and parking, and I access a car.