Whether you are living comfortably or barely scraping by paycheck to paycheck, you need a budget. Why? You should always control your money, your money should never control you. In fact, I would argue that the more money you make, the more important it is to have a detailed budget! It’s too easy to throw money out the window when you aren’t being careful and purposeful about every single penny.
I know a lot of people feel like a budget is stifling. I know this, because I am one of those people! If I thought I could stay on top of my finances without a budget in place, I’d drop that B word like a hot potato. It’s frustrating, it causes arguments between me and my husband and it’s just draining to have to sit down and talk about money on a regular basis. Some people might love it, but I seriously hate it.
I think part of the frustration is that it is a constant reality check. When you keep a detailed budget, it’s a way of shining a light on the gap between what you say your priorities are and what they really are. Your spending doesn’t lie! This can be ugly on months when you don’t have enough money left to contribute to a worthy cause, and you see that it’s because you have been spending way too much on clothes or eating out. When you want to sign your kids up for a fun camp, but realize you have been buying new clothes far too much to justify the tuition fee. Ouch.
This is why budgeting is important, but constantly assessing and discussing your budget is non negotiable. You can’t just sit down and hash out a budget in an hour and expect that budget to maintain you and your family from here on out. It’s a constant task, but once you do the intial legwork in setting it up, not an insurmountable one.
Never set up a budget before? Maybe you have, but think you could do better? Click the steps below to learn how to set up a budget:
Step 1: Decide Your Non Negotiables
Now you have your budget! This is a living breathing budget that will constantly need to be revisited, discussed and possibly reworked on a regular basis. Keep on top of your budget and your money will never control you again.