I love money and I am going to guess you do too! I used to wonder where all of my hard earned money went. I would spend spend spend and really not keep track of how much money I was spending. This became a huge problem!
Things has to change, so I started learning about budgeting. Before long I was tracking my money and not long after I had a budget in place. The best part was I was following it! As it turns out it really wasn't that hard. A household budget is something everyone should have in place and I am going to tell you why.
But first let me tell you about a couple of different ways you can track your money, I like to use an app called Fudget The Budget Planner - over half a million people are using this planner. My friend Angela Wills rom the Laptop Lifestyle Business Club uses a software called You Need A Budget (YNAB).
So WHY do you need a budget?
When you are not tracking your income and expenses it is pretty easy to start spending more than you think you are. Those small purchases add up in a hurry. Stopping at Starbucks for a coffee or buying your lunch a few times a week can cost a few hundred dollars a month. You may spend more on things like eating out, going to the movies or new clothes than you think!
A budget simply TRACKS your money. You record where the money comes from each month, also known as your income and then record everything you spend money on. Start with your regular monthly bills like your mortgage or rent, car payments, insurance, utility bills... you get the idea. After all of your bills are paid what is left is your discretionary income.
A budget helps you IDENTIFY things you waste money on.
Having all of this information right in front of you helps to identify where you are spending your money and you will quickly see what you are wasting money on. When you see it right in front of you, it makes you think before you start spending. Do you really need to spend $200 a month on cable? Is your cell phone plan the right one for you? What about the magazine subscription you have been spending money on each month and you don't even read it?!
Having it all right in front of you allows you to review and revise. Go through your expenses and reevaluate if this is really how you want to spend your money? Yes, some of our expenses are necessary but many of them are not.
Often I hear I can't afford that! The reality is, if you really want something and you have a budget you can review and revise it, sometimes the things you think you cannot afford you really can if you make some adjustments in your spending habit. Other times we have to start saving for that item we really want.
A budget allows you to be more PROACTIVE about saving.
Saving when you are not really use where you are spending is really difficult. The intention is there at the beginning of the month but somehow there just isn't money let at the end of the month to save.
When you have a budget in place you can be more proactive about saving. Set money aside at the beginning of the month, even if it is only $20, over time $20 adds up. Before you know it, you will have $60 than $120. Decide how much money you are going to save and put it in your budget like a regular monthly expense, just like your mortgage or insurance. Open a savings account to put this money in.
A budget ensures you are NOT spending more than you are making.
The great thing about a budget, is it will help to keep you on track and help you to make sure that you are not spending more money than you are making.
Want more information on personal finances and budgeting? You can download my full report, here.
It is full of great tips to save money, plan for unexpected expenses, build a financial safety net and keep your grocery spending under control. And I don't have to tell you that it is pretty important for your financial well being!