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  • Writer's pictureRyan Jones

Why not Budgeting holds you back!

I know that budgets can be boring. In fact, when I first started budgeting for myself, it felt like such a chore that I almost quit trying. But once I learned how beneficial it was to have a budget—and how easy it is to make one—I started seeing the benefits right away. By making sure my money went where it was supposed to go and didn't just disappear into thin air (or my shopping cart!), I was able to save more money than ever before while still enjoying myself. Nowadays, budgeting is something that makes me feel like an empowered adult instead of just another person who's juggling their finances with their emotions! So, if you're not on top of your finances or feel like you're running out of control financially, don't worry—there's hope!

When you're not budgeting, you're probably spending more than you realize.

You might not realize how much you're spending on things like fast food or hobbies, but it's easy to see when you start tracking your spending. Maybe you'll find a pattern of buying things every day from the same place. Or maybe, like me, you'll notice that one behavior shows up on your receipts every weekend with no explanation. You can also see if there are any areas where your spending has been higher or lower over time and make changes accordingly if necessary. Can you specifically point out right now where inflation is most impacting you: gas, groceries, eating out, other?

Not having a budget can rob you of what you want to do.

The secret is to build in some flexibility so that when an opportunity arises (a good sale on something you need), or an unexpected expense comes up (a new car repair), there will be enough room for these expenses within your overall plan. Also, you choose where your money goes. I have golf and biking categories in my budget. Terri has her hobbies listed in our budget. When we were getting out of debt, some of these things were severely reduced as we worked together to become debt-free, and now we have a lot more flexibility. Also, through all of our efforts to get out of debt, we still made date night a priority and included it in the budget.

You can make your savings more fun by integrating them into your life with a budget.

No one wants to spend money on things they don’t like doing or are bored of, but with a little creativity, you can find ways to have fun and save money at the same time! For example, if you love cooking but hate paying for expensive groceries every week, try shopping for fresh produce at farmer’s markets instead of supermarkets (which usually charge more). In our town, there are a lot of quality second-hand stores where we shop frequently. Being frugal is different from being cheap. We also made a game out of couponing and challenged each other to see who could save the most in a month. I used 2-for-1 coupons with friends at work, delayed some purchases knowing they were coming soon, and found the best clothing deals in the back corner of stores on the discount racks.

It's hard to keep track of where your money is going when you don't have a budget.

If you’re always wondering where your money is going, it can be difficult to plan for the future. A budget will help you get a handle on your finances and give you peace of mind that there’s enough money in your account. A budget is simply a record of how much money comes in and goes out each month. If you know the amount of income coming in, it's easy to see how much needs to be set aside for living expenses (like rent or mortgage payments) as well as savings goals like emergency funds or retirement accounts. The trick is figuring out how much goes out each month so that all of those numbers match up at the end of each month with what's left over!

Being on top of your finances is good for your mental health as well as your financial health.

Budgeting is not just a good idea; it's a smart one. Being on top of your finances will save you money and keep you motivated to make the right financial decisions, like keeping track of your spending habits and saving up for big purchases or travel plans. Doing this creates a positive feedback loop. It’s easier to make good financial decisions when you know how much money you have and where it's going. The unknown causes a lot of stress and anxiety in our lives. Thus, having a good handle on your finances will reduce stress and anxiety, even if you are barely getting by. Trust me, it works!

So, the next time you find yourself wondering whether budgeting is worth doing, ask yourself these questions:
  • Will it help me feel more secure about my finances?

  • Will it make me feel less anxious about money?

  • Am I better able to set goals for myself and my family when I have a plan for how much we will spend each month or year?

And if so, then why not start today? Don't know where to start, start here.


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