We work hard to earn a living. So we want to make sure we spend the money that we work so hard for wisely. That’s where having and creating a household budget comes in. A reasonable budget is a great tool to see what is coming in, what’s going out (and what that money is paying for) and if there’s anything left at the end of the month to put into savings and even to buy something a little special for yourself.
Before we do the deep dive into exactly what a budget can do, take a minute to consider what will happen when you are not tracking income and expenses. Things like spending more than we’re making in a given month (or two, or three). Over time that can land us into a big mess. We may also spend a lot more than we’d like to believe on things like eating out, going to the movies or new clothes.
Having a budget gives us more control over where we want to spend our hard earned cash. Maybe that’s dinner and a movie, but perhaps it isn’t. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an actual choice?
Reasons to Have A Budget
It Tracks Where Your Money Is Going
A budget simply tracks your money. You record where the money comes from each month (your income) and then write out everything you spend it on, starting with your regular monthly bills like mortgage or rent, car payments, utility bills, etc. What’s left after all the bills are paid is your discretional income and you have your eye on a particular item you can always use Sello to find savings on that little treat for yourself.
Helps You Identify Things You Waste Money On
Having it all in front of you in black and white enables you to identify things you’re wasting your money on and help to stop it. It makes you reconsider if you want to spend well over $200 a month on Cable TV or $150 on your large cell phone plan. Or how about that yearly magazine subscription to something you no longer read? Go through your expenses and reevaluate if this is REALLY how you want to spend your paycheck.
Allows You To Be Proactive About Savings
Saving money without a budget is hard. We go in with the best of intentions at the beginning of the month, but somehow at the end of the month, you are looking at a big fat 0 in your checking account.
A budget gives you a chance to be a bit more proactive. Set aside some money for savings at the beginning of the month, even if it’s just $20. Put it in the budget as a regular expense, just like you do with your other urgent bills. If you need to, open a separate savings account, so you’re not tempted to spend it.
Ensures You’re Not Spending More Than You’re Making
Most importantly, your budget will keep you on track and help you make sure you’re not spending more than you’re making. And I don’t have to tell you that that’s pretty important for your financial wellbeing.