Today we want to talk about the dreaded B-word…budgeting.
Wait, don’t leave.
We know, creating a budget is everyone’s favorite topic to hate. But it shouldn’t be. In fact, personal budgets can help you achieve the goals you’re working toward—whether that’s getting out of debt, saving for retirement, or just trying to keep your grocery bill from getting out of hand.
We all know the practical advantages that come from putting together a personal or household budget, understanding your expenses, helping save money, keeping up with your bills, etc. Here are five ways budgeting helps you get more out of life.
- Control. Budgeting helps you control your money, rather than feeling your money controls you.
- Security. Knowing that you have a solid plan in place, and sticking to that plan, gives you much needed peace of mind.
- Confidence. You’re prepared for your financial future rather than getting nasty financial surprises.
- Freedom. Budgeting means you’re spending with a purpose, freeing you from the worries of what you can, or can’t, afford.
- Stress Relief. Money is one of the leading causes of stress. Budgeting goes a long way to helping not only your financial health, but your mental health too.
How to Budget?
One reason budgeting gets such a bad rap is that many people don’t realize there are dozens of methods for budgeting. Too often, people don’t find the budget style that fits their lifestyle, personality traits, and financial goals.
It’s a personal thing. You need to find the budgeting type that fits you. The better the match, the more likely you’ll stick with it. The key here is to take some time to research the style best for you.
Here is an excellent article from LogicDollar.com reviewing the 11 most popular budgeting methods and the advantages of each. Check it out. It’s a great starting point for your research.
As is true in most cases, technology can make your budgeting efforts easier, and there are plenty of apps out there to help. Many are free. Some cost money, but most of those give you a free trial period to test them out.
Smartasset.com has already done some of the research for you in this article on the 7 Best Budgeting Apps for 2021. A little more digging will probably turn up many more.
Tips for Success
Here are a five practical pieces of advice as you start your budgeting journey.
- Start Now. Procrastination typically leads to avoidance. No time like the present to get going.
- Make a Plan. Check out the links above, do a little research, map out your steps. Some upfront time invested now can help you get off to a faster start.
- Don’t Over Analyze. Following up on the last point, research is important, but too much is counterproductive to getting started.
- Work together. If you’re working on a family budget, involve your significant other. You both need to be part of the process and hold each other accountable.
- Muscle Memory. Success in building and following a budget comes from making it a part of your routine. That comes with practice. It might be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier.
Now is the perfect time to get started. Holidays are quickly approaching, and the new year is just around the corner. What better time to take charge of your financial future than today?