Does thinking about money stress you? Does it scare you? Are you smiling or annoyed? I know you’re probably saying “where am I going with this”, or not… But I will explain. As we’re starting a beautiful month, I was doing my usual monthly budget. While doing it, I’ve figured why not share with my readers the importance of having a budget?
In the world we live in, money is basic. Everyone needs money, that’s why we work or go to school. We use it for our basic needs or because we want to buy something that we dearly want or sometimes we use it to buy things because we think we can afford it.
Although we need money, some of us hate it. But that’s not today’s subject. Today, I’m going to talk about the importance of saving money and why you should start making a budget.
I have a love and hate relationship with my financial planning. While I’m doing my monthly or weekly budget, I see how I spend my money and sometimes I’m not too proud of myself. However, the thing that I love about making a budget is that it keeps me responsible and I make new financial goals from them. I gradually get better, and I save more every time I make a budget. I started making a budget not long ago.
It was at the end of 2018 when I started this blog, I had to make a budget for it because I didn’t want to buy everything, I wanted to be able to control my spending, and why I was doing it. Later on, I figured, why not do this for my everyday finances? I would be able to control my spendings and be conscious of how money comes and goes in my bank account.
I thought that making a budget would just keep me grounded with what I spent, yet, I found out that making a budget does more than just keeping me grounded. Now here’s why you should also start making a budget.
Nobody wants to live on the “paycheque by paycheque lifestyle” but, many of us do. I understand that there are last-minute events that may occur, cravings that push you to eat out or an emergency. All these events can push you to spend all of your money, and even make you use your credit card. If you had planned the week or the month, you would be able to use your money wisely. That’s why making a monthly or weekly budget is so important. When you have an emergency, you will know where to take the emergency fund. When you have last minute events or cravings, you will ask yourself if it’s worth going or eating out because you will consult your budget to determine that.
If your thinking that you don’t need a budget, that you need a better paying job in order to pay your bills and buy what you desire. Well, let me be real with you, you will never reach your goals like this. Having a better paying job won’t solve your money problems because you would be getting new things and you would eventually want more. For example, if you get a better paying job, you would be willing to increase your credit limit because you can afford it now. You will be looking for a brand new car or even an apartment to match with the new employment. You will only create bigger debt than savings, plus you will pay more taxes. Therefore, you still need a budget in order to manage your financial struggles. I’m not saying to not do what you want with your money but a budget keeps your eyes open. No matter what employment you have or what you plan on having, you need to plan it. And, having a budget is planning.
One last reason why you should make a budget is to be able to save well. When you make a budget, you also create goals. You probably have your own personal circumstances, and what I mentioned above doesn’t apply to you. However, I’m sure you have a few goals that you want to achieve, and those goals require money. For example, getting a new car, going on a trip with your friends or family, or being able to attain that financial freedom. Making a budget will help you achieve many financial goals.
To summarize, you have to understand that making a budget should be part of your habit. If this post inspired you to start making a budget but you don’t know where to start, I have a few tips that might help you.
When you’re doing your budget, these are the things that you have to consider:
The type of budget (the year, month, week or day). Don’t just make one budget, make at least a budget for the month and for the week. You can also make a monthly goal and a weekly budget.
The daily activities that you usually do. For example: if you work 5 days a week and you eat out on your lunch, make a budget on how much you spend on the food.
Any social events that you have to attend. Example: a meeting with coworkers and it’s at a restaurant? Consider having a budget for that too. Verify the menu beforehand and plan what you’re going to eat.
Are you planning on organizing an event? someone’s birthday, or your child’s birthday? add that to your monthly or weekly budget, and you should save money for it too.
The debts and monthly or weekly bills. This is important, of course, to include it in your budget because the money will be spent regardless. However, when you include it in your budget, you will know if you really need that kind of monthly bill and what are the debts are really eating your piggy bank.
Emergency fund. A little tip here, you don’t need an emergency fund, you need a Dream fund. While you’re working, put money aside for what you would like to get in the future. This is different from small goals like I mentioned above. Here, I’m talking about long term goals. For example, if you want to open a business one day, save for that business, and save hard. You should have at least 3 months paycheque on that savings, and this saving account should motivate you to save. The reason why I don’t think you need an emergency fund is that it’s negative. When you save for emergency funds, you’re making it a reality because each time you will save, you are projecting an emergency situation to happen. I know that emergency happens but, when it happens, you will use the money that you saved on your Dream fund. This method is good because you will have more money than if you saved for an emergency fund, and when the emergency happens, you will be able to handle it like a pro.
Making a budget is fun, and you learn when you do it. If you’re considering doing it, be fair with yourself. Don’t add challenges that you know you won’t be able to maintain, and don’t be strict with yourself. When I make my monthly budget, I put $20 aside for special treats because, when I get my monthly blessing from mother nature, I treat myself with some Kindle chocolate. So, be fair and real with yourself. You will gradually notice what you can cut down and how much you need to save a month.
I hope that this post helped at least one soul,
Have a blessed month of May.
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