Those two words used to go together like peanut butter and jelly in my book. How about: impossible. Annoying. Constricting. Not-for-me.
Been there, thought that my friends!
Hopefully you have already read my thoughts about being an extravagant giver, and how to do that on a budget. Now I want to try to motivate you to get that lazy budget up off the financial couch and get it working for you! Because you know what? The reality is that budgets really, really do give you more freedom, confidence, and financial peace.
Eyebrows raised? Well unless you are Bill Gates and don’t have to think twice about your monthly inflow and outflow of cash, I would suggest you keep reading! And if you are Bill Gates, you can probably stop reading, but not before you think about sending over a check in my name. Thanks.
For the rest of you, here is why I believe a budget is essential to being financially fit.
Where The Heck Did My Money Go?!?
Have you ever looked at your bank account statement and thought that exact phrase? I have, far more often than I would like to publicly admit. Back before we cut up the credit cards and laid out a budget, it always seemed like there was a giant black hole in our bank account where money would just mysteriously disappear. That black hole must be linked to the black hole in my drier that my socks get sucked into on a regular basis…Anyway, with a budget you can say “See ya chump!” to that black hole in your bank account.
When you think budget, think “spending plan.” A budget is all about “telling your money where it is going to go instead of wondering where it went” (thanks, Dave). Simply put: if you don’t want your money wandering off into the black hole in the bottom of our bank account, you have to take charge! And if you don’t step up and take charge, trust me, your money will.
I Can (or Can’t) Afford That?!
When your budget is laid out in writing each month, you suddenly know exactly what you have (or don’t have, as was our sorry case).
This is beneficial for two reasons:
- It helps you to not over-spend and snowball into debt.
- It gives you the freedom to say “Yes! I can afford that!” or “No. I’ll have to start saving.” No more guesswork involved.
A Financial Roadmap
I bet if you asked one of the world’s self-made millionaires how they ended up where they are financially today they wouldn’t sit you down and say “Well you know, it was just whole lot of blind luck!.” I bet most of them worked hard, really hard, to get where they are. I bet they had a plan for their money (and probably still do).
You want to be a millionaire, or even just have enough to live comfortably knowing that your retirement is taken care of, your kids’ college is paid for (at least in part), and you can go on a cruise to the Bahamas without worrying what your bank account will look like when you get back? You need a financial roadmap, and a budget, or a “Spending and Saving Plan” if you will, is one of the primary components of that roadmap.
So Why Not?
I know several people who have a treadmill in their basement that hasn’t seen the light of day since “The New Year’s Resolution of ’05.” It’s not like you really have an excuse for not getting on that treadmill. It’s not like it’s physically difficult. It’s just that you know that once you get on that treadmill it will take a bit of work, sweat, and sacrifice to get into shape.
I think budgets are pretty similar for most people. They take a little work, sweat, and sacrifice to get into shape, but there really is no good excuse not to do it. And the benefits can be incredibly rewarding! Get on that treadmill and you’ll look great in that smashing cocktail dress you saw at Macy’s. Get on that budget and you’ll look great in that smashing cocktail dress you saw at Macy’s and can totally afford!
How about you? What’s your motivation to get that lazy budget up off the couch and get him whipped into shape? Comment below and let me know.
Go to: My Budget Boot Camp Day 4