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So, I’ve already shared 8 Tips For Creating a Budget That Works, but why do you need a budget anyway? Why should you put forth the time and effort in creating one? Why do you really need a budget that’s not written on the back of a napkin, anyway?
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A budget has been an essential part of keeping our family spending in check. And, it is something that I revisit every few months and as needed when income or expense changes occur.
If you’ve never created a budget, it will be well worth it. Here’s why.
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1. A written budget is a way for you to see where your money is coming and going
Whether you are a paper person as I am or prefer to track your budget in digital format, it is an awesome way to see how your money is and isn’t working for you. I will warn you, it can be shocking at first when you actually realize how much you are spending on certain things. This is especially true when it comes to the unnecessary spending that we all take part in. But, seeing where your money is coming and going is a great first step in being more mindful of how your money is working for you.
2. A budget is a great opportunity to see the things you may be paying for that you’ve never even thought about before
For instance, are you aware of how much money you are spending on things like car maintenance? This would include things like oil changes and other routine service work, new tires, or even tire rotation fees? Oftentimes our money goes out on things like this, but we rarely give these types of things much thought.
3. Having an accurate budget is one of the first steps to take in accurately saving money
If you are looking to stretch your money and really make some progress in growing a savings account, having a budget is a necessary place to start. When we are able to reign in certain expenses that we were previously unaware of, your savings in these areas can go right into your savings account. Then, watch those savings grow!
4. A budget is a major stress reducer
When you have a budget, there are many fewer “unexpected” expenses. You have already tracked your spending for some time and have accounted for nearly everywhere that your money goes. This is especially true when it comes to holiday spending. Having a budget allows you to take advantage of some of the things I spoke about in 12 Sneaky Ways to Start Saving For Christmas NOW!
5. Creating and adhering to a budget allows you to know where your financial future is headed
If you’ve never had a budget before, this could be the first overview you have of your financial picture – both now and in the future. It is always helpful to know where you are while also knowing where you are headed. This is true when it comes to so many things in addition to financial matters. This concept is at the heart of creating a mission statement.
6. A budget is an incredible way to have the entire family on the same page when it comes to how your family handles financial and spending matters
It could be that having a budget is the first time that you and your spouse can see the same assets and liabilities when it comes to your finances. If you and your spouse don’t see eye to eye when it comes to your finances, no worries. I gave some great steps to take to bring resolution to this situation in What to Do When One Spouse is a Spender While the Other is a Saver. Having everyone, including kids who are old enough, on the same page within your family will make your life sooooo much easier. It may even reduce some conflict!
7. By having a budget and being intentional in your spending, you are providing a wonderful example to your children when it comes to handling money matters
When you are surrounded by young kids, this can be a difficult concept to grasp. But, trust me when I say that soon those little ones will be in high school. Ask me how I know that one. We would all want our children to avoid money struggles. Having a budget in place and even involving your children in the budgeting process is one of the best ways that you can be proactive in the lives of your children in this way.
8. You will have an amazing skill set
Of course, none of us never want to think about a financial picture that looks rather bleak. However, the one thing I think we can all agree on is that life has a way of catching us by surprise at times. Job changes, unexpected bills, or major home repairs are just a few of the things that can greatly affect your financial picture in both the short term and the long term. When you already have a budget in place, you can easily see how having control of your finances in this way will be an enormous asset.
Taking and making the time to create a budget will be time well spent. Having adhered to a budget for nearly 20 years has been a life saver in my life numerous times.
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