Do you feel like you’re always living paycheck to paycheck? Often find yourself with overdraft fees? How about owing money on loans and credit cards? Is your savings account consisting of less than 3 months of living or maybe you don’t have savings at all?
If you answered YES, to any one of those questions then creating a budget should be top priority. When creating a budget, it really allows you to dig deep into your spending habits. Breaking down how much you spend opens your eyes to the reality of where your money is going and maybe why your paycheck seems to disappear.
Just being honest here, I use to not budget at all. For years I lived paycheck to paycheck, and when I wanted something that I didn’t have the cash for it was put on the credit card or taken out of my savings. I would think, “oh, I’ll just pay that off next month”. Then that balance on the credit card continued to grow because I couldn’t pay more than my minimum payment.
If you’re living this way, like I was, it’s time to start budgeting.
5 reasons why creating a budget is so important, no matter your income!
1. Helps you understand your spending habits
When you understand and see where your money is being spent, most of the time you start to see the random expenses on things you don’t really need. So, take a look at your card charges and receipts. Some items to start looking for are maybe coffee runs, eating out or on random subscriptions and memberships that you don’t use.
Often times, we don’t even realize how much we spend on things that are not a necessity until we create a budget. I like to call this “Blind Spending”, I don’t even know if this is a real term, but let’s go with it! Which leads me to our second reason.
2. Helps see where you can cut spending!
Seeing the truth of where your money goes allows you to consciously think twice before eating out and it helps you cut out the things that are not a necessity.
For example, if you’re a coffee lover and grab a coffee at Starbucks or local café more than once a week that is at least $5 a cup. It is much cheaper to make coffee at home. If you have a gym membership or any other type of membership but you find yourself going only on occasion or not at all, time to reevaluate where that money can be spent.
When you begin to cut your spending, you start to have more money to pay off debt and more money to put away into a savings account. If you don’t have a savings account, I highly recommend you open one soon.
3. Helps you pay off debt!
By understanding what you spend money on and reevaluating items that aren’t a necessity, this allows for more money to be used towards paying off those credit cards and loans.
Paying off debt should have high priority because the longer that debt sits, the more interest accrues. Whether it’s student loans, personal, mortgages, vehicles, or credit cards. The more interest that is accrued the more money you’re paying. So, the quicker you can pay off the debt, the quicker you will free up money from your paychecks. Trust me, this takes time but is completely attainable.
4. Helps you Save more money.
Who doesn’t want to save more money? Saving money for personal reasons, emergency funds, or even travel is a delight. Being able to say yes to that beach trip because you saved to go on vacation instead of buying that Coffee latte every week is such a reward. When you budget, you are able to dedicate amounts monthly to put away while still making sure your important bills are paid.
Check out our related post: 10 simple ways to save more in 2019.
5. Helps you give more
Giving to Charity, Family, or Churches is a really nice way to give back. When you budget, just like savings, it enables you to set aside money specifically to help others. Give more than you receive and good will come back to you.
So in conclusion, now you know why it’s important and what a budget can do to help you financially, but you might be asking “how do I budget?” or “Where do I start?” Maybe, you are asking this because you’ve never budgeted, or your checks are different every time because you bartend/wait tables. We know how that is!
Currently, my husband bartends, therefore, we understand the fluctuation of income. One week you’re making $600 and the next you make $300. It’s not easy. However, even with the changing income you can still create a budget and work towards any goals you have like paying off credit cards and student loans.
To do this, we suggest taking the average amount made from 3 months. This will help you see on average what you accumulate, and budget accordingly. If you have a set amount you make per month, start by taking a look at your bank account statements to look at your purchases.
As I mentioned, creating a budget no matter your income is important because whether you average $2k a month or $10K a month it’s good to know your spending habits. Sometimes the more you make, the more you spend. I have known people who make $10k a month that still lived paycheck to paycheck. Therefore, it doesn’t matter how much you make, living off a budget is important.
When I first started Budgeting I created my own in excel spreadsheet. I did this because I had taken a class on excel in college, so I knew my way around the basics. I have been using my excel budgeter for over a year now. It has helped so much, but one thing I wish I had was the ability to see and edit on my phone.
So, I just recently found this service called Every Dollar by Dave Ramsey. I just signed up for it and giving it a try. So far, I am liking it, but not ready to really review it or not. If you would like to check it out here is a link www.everydollar.com (this is not an affiliated link, I do not get a commission).
Since I have been budgeting, Matthew and I have been able to pay off the IRS, save to purchase our RV and Truck, and now in January, we will be getting rid of my smallest personal loan. We are working towards a debt free life, so we can have more money to give and more to travel.
So, no matter where you are in life or how much you make a month, it is never too late to start budgeting, get out of debt, and save more money.
Related Posts: 10 Simple Ways To Save More In 2019
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