With the global economic downturn affecting people everywhere, now more than ever is the right time to budget on a monthly basis. Budgeting has long been seen as the foundation required to ensure you effectively manage your personal finances. Here are 5 reasons to start making a personal monthly budget.
1. Budgets make you look at your finances.
It’s easy to just spend and spend and to wake up and realize one day, you don’t have any money left until next pay day. That is not a good way to manage money. By creating a budget you are forced to look at how much you bring in and how much you put out. At times, it can be frustrating when you realize you are in the red almost every month, but taking an honest look at your money (what comes in, what goes out, when and why) you are able to put a plan in place to manage your finances.
2. Budgets make you realistic.
When you have a budget, you know what you can and cannot afford to do with the money you have. This keeps you realistic about whether you can take that $600.00 vacation next month, when you already have two past due notices plus current expenses calling your name. Without the budget, you are not really in tune with your expenses and income and it makes it more likely to overstate what you really bring in without really considering all, and I mean ALL, of your expenses! With a budget, once you sit down and right out your monthly, bi-weekly, weekly, or other budget plan (based on how often you receive your income), you know right away what you have left over for fun and play!
3. Budgets help you eliminate debt.
As a budget maker, once you’re able to look at what you owe out to your creditors, it makes you want to eliminate that debt as soon as possible so you will have more money to do the things you want, and not just the things you have to do! You will find yourself saying, “Well, if I did not have to pay these three credit cards and that car note, I can have $500.00 extra per month!” It motivates you to get rid of all the debt you possibly can so that you can get that extra cash in your pocket or the bank!
4. Budgets can teach you self-control.
When you have a budget, you will, without a doubt, be tempted to throw it out the window and splurge. But each time, you don’t splurge and stick with your budget you strengthen your ability to say no to that impulse buy and control yourself when you temptation is staring you in the face… at the mall! Self-control is a must in financial security, without being able to control your spending, saving and debt, you will not be able to live the kind of life you desire. By creating a budget and sticking to it, you are on the right path to establishing control-of-self when it comes to your money.
5. Budgets help you reach your goals.
Budget tracking can help you achieve your financial goals because you know where your money is going and why. For people who want to eliminate all of their credit card debt, having a budget can give you a workable plan to pay it off. If you want to take a vacation next year to Hawaii, your monthly budget will help you see where the money will come from, how long it will take to save for it, and how you can adjust other expenses to make it happen. Without a budget, you may just have an idea in your head of what you want, but with the budget, you now have something on paper (or electronically in this day and age) you can look at to guide you along the way.
If you are using android device use this free app that will help you plan and track your expenses.
Lastly, never underestimate the power of having a realistic monthly budget and sticking to it. As you continue with it, you will begin to see how it’s creating more freedom in your mind and life, and eventually your wallet. It may not seem like it at first, but the rewards of self-controlled planned spending 95% of the time (just keeping it real… we do fall every now and then) are well worth it.