By Debbie Dragon
To some people, budget is a 4-letter word! When used correctly, a budget is a tool that helps you know where you’re going and how you’re getting there financially. As our economy struggles, there has never been a better time to get your finances under control and work with a budget.
Most people have dreams or goals of things they’d like to have, places they’d like to go, bills they’d like to pay off… but the only way to ensure you realize those goals or see your dreams become reality is to have a plan and a way to measure your progress. How else will you know if you’re even moving in the right direction?
Here are 11 reasons why living on a budget makes sense- and how it can actually help you reach those dreams and goals that you’ve set for you and your family:
# A budget ensures there is actually money set aside for savings and investments, instead of ignoring them because you don’t have any money left at the end of the month to save!
# A budget will enable you to see if you are living within your means. Years ago, before credit cards became so commonly used, people would know whether or not they were living within their means because they either had money left over at the end of the month or they didn’t. Now that everyone uses credit cards regularly, it’s much more difficult to see where you stand financially.
# Control your money instead of being controlled by your money.
# Have money available to handle emergencies and unanticipated expenses. Without a budget, most expenses could be considered ‘unexpected’ and since you don’t have the money to pay for them- they severely hurt you financially. A budget anticipates these expenses and you’ll have the money to take care of them as they happen.
# A budget that’s created realistically will result in cash that you can use on things you really want or need- instead of spending it here and there on things you don’t even remember buying at the end of the month.
# Reduce arguments about money with a budget. The budget serves as your guide to finances. If you and your partner are working on the budget together, it will reduce your arguments and allow you to work towards a common goal.
# Reduce stress and sleep better! Having a budget that you actually follow will eliminate unnecessary worrying over money and debt. You’ll know that everything is figured out and as long as you follow the budget you’ve created you’ll be able to make ends meet.
# Budgeting is the best way to find your way out of debt and to prevent falling into excessive debt.
# Having a budget will enable you to see areas that you are overspending so you can eliminate any unnecessary spending to concentrate on reaching your financial goals.
# Involving your children in the family budget planning will help teach them responsible financial habits. They’ll also understand more when you say there isn’t any money to buy every toy they see on the commercials!
# With a budget, you can allocate money for entertainment- which means you’ll know exactly how much you have to spend on the fun things you want to do and can plan for your entertainment activities. Use up the entertainment allowance on small things every week; or save the entertainment allowance for several weeks and splurge on something more costly!
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