Love Living on a BudgetWhy do we dis­like bud­get­ing?  

Because it is hard work!  

Seri­ous­ly, bud­get­ing, or plan­ning your income and spend­ing, requires that you look at your life, your pri­or­i­ties and your val­ues.  Good bud­get­ing takes intro­spec­tion and most of us don’t want to spend a lot of time look­ing inside our­selves.  But like any­thing chal­leng­ing, the rewards are price­less.  

  1. Bud­get­ing gives you peace of mind.  Imag­ine not wor­ry or fret­ting about mon­ey!   A good plan sets expec­ta­tions.  For exam­ple, when you plan a trip, you know where you are going, when you are going and how you will get there, which means there is no need to wor­ry.  You sim­ply fol­low your plan and arrive at your des­ti­na­tion.  Bud­get­ing works exact­ly the same way.  By plan­ning for your income and expens­es you know what you can spend today, what you need to save for tomor­row and how to cre­ate a wor­ry free life.
  2. Bud­get­ing makes emer­gen­cies eas­i­er to han­dle.  Life always gives us unex­pect­ed plot twists.  A good bud­get allows for an emer­gency fund. An emer­gency fund is typ­i­cal­ly a sav­ings account that has enough cash for 3 or more months of spend­ing. Hav­ing this cush­ion to fall on when times get tough means you and your fam­i­ly can deal with the plot twist and move on QUICKLY. 
  3. Bud­get­ing gives you free­dom.  A good bud­get includes a cat­e­go­ry of “free mon­ey.” This mon­ey is over and above your emer­gency fund, retire­ment sav­ings, mort­gage, insur­ance and util­i­ties and the like.  Free mon­ey is mon­ey that you can use to treat your­self to a spa day or a week­end of golf with friends or you can save it for an even big­ger splurge down the road.  For bud­get­ing to work, it has to give us wig­gle room and free mon­ey does that.
  4. Bud­get­ing keeps you out of debt.  By plan­ning your spend­ing, and sav­ing for big-tick­et items like new tires, home repairs and vaca­tions you are much less like­ly to find your­self with a cred­it card bal­ance you can­not pay.  Noth­ing drags your life ener­gy like cred­it card debt.  Get out and stay out of debt using a bud­get.
  5. Bud­get­ing low­ers con­flict in your rela­tion­ship with your part­ner, spouse and with your­self!   By hav­ing the dis­cus­sions now about what is impor­tant, what you are sav­ing for, and where you are pri­or­i­tiz­ing your resources, you avoid the pain of mon­ey argu­ments and con­flict in the future.  Yes, maybe some of this will come up as you bud­get.  Just breath, keep focus­ing on what is real­ly impor­tant, be pre­pared to com­pro­mise as need­ed and you will get through it.  

Remem­ber, there is no one right way to bud­get.  Just like there are many ways to plan a trip and many ways to do a strate­gic plan there are many ways to bud­get. Find one that is right for you and stick to it.   You will be glad you did.

Share your best bud­get­ing tips and ben­e­fits by com­ment­ing below!

Relat­ed Arti­cles: 

Sched­ule a “Plan Date” with Your Finances

Sim­ple Steps for a Suc­cess­ful Bud­get

How to Save $1000