Budget: the dreaded “B” word. The mere mention of the word makes people tremble with fear. Most people believe that budgeting is punitive, restrictive, and just plain no fun. For this reason, many avoid starting a budget or find it difficult to stick with it. Budgets have such a negative connotation that they have changed the name to the kinder and gentler “spending plan”.
THE BUDGET is the foundation of a wise personal money management strategy and essential in helping you realize your goals. Okay, so what is a budget? It is a plan for spending your money. It gives you the peace of mind to know where your money is going, verses the anxiety of wonder WHERE IT WENT! The only way to gain a handle on your finances is through budgeting. The key is not to focus on the process, but to focus on WHY it is necessary and the REWARDS of being in control of your money.
Hopefully, I can shed some positive light on budgeting and eliminate any discomfort by detailing reasons to budget below:
1. CONTROL – Budgeting puts you in the driver set. You take power over your money instead of your money driving you. You become the master of your personal finances.
2. OPPORTUNITY – Living on a budget presents the opportunity to focus on current and future goals. Setting up a budget helps you take care of today and to proactively start building your financial future.
3. EMERGENCIES – A budget helps you prepare for unexpected expenses. You may get caught off guard, but by having a written plan, you can quickly make adjustments, if necessary.
4. DEBT – A reasonable, realistic budget helps you keep debt down and pay it off. Instead of extra money dwindling away, by budgeting, you can quickly identify any excess money and apply it to a debt repayment strategy.
5. STRESS RELIEF – Money issues continue to be a major source of stress and leading cause of divorces. Managing your money wisely can ease worries and improve relationships, which helps your overall health and well being.
Budgeting is just planning. I like to call it cost effective spending, or getting the most out of your hard earned dollars. It is not restrictive and constraining, but expansive and freeing instead. A person without a budget will likely be spinning in circles; whereas, a person with a budget will more than likely be trending towards a worthy goal. Maintaining a budget may be uncomfortable at first, but as you develop the “muscle”, the process will pay off in the long term.
Are you willing to give it a try?