A budget is important part of managing your personal finances; however, many consumers avoid this task because they think it’s too hard or a budget will stop them from enjoying their life. A budget isn’t supposed to restrict or punish you. It’s a spending plan that will help you achieve a stable financial future. So why do budgeting efforts fail?
Many consumers treat their budget like a diet. They treat a budget as if it’s a temporary fix, where they watch their spending habits until they hit their financial goal. But once that goal is met, the person goes back to their old spending habits and a few months later they’re back to where they started. Budgeting is a lifestyle choice, not a diet. It’s a part of your everyday life and helps guide you to make better financial choices.
Just like a diet, many consumers think a budget will deprive you of the things you want. However, it’s the exact opposite. A budget helps identity where you’re wasting your money, and helps you modify your spending habits to be more balanced. By cutting out the wasteful spending and watching your dollars, you’ll be able to save money for the important things in life: a home, a new car or even retirement.
Some consumers think that a budget won’t fit into their normal life. That weighing and measuring the dollars you spend just isn’t a practical, long-term strategy. However, with the Internet and debit cards, it’s easy to keep track of your spending habits. Most banks will let you export your banking statements so that you can categorize your expenses and keep track where your money is going.
Lastly, many consumers assume that budgets are rigid, inflexible financial plans. That once you make a commitment to a budget, it can’t change. But any eating plan or budget that holds to strict, inflexible rules will not last under the test of time. A healthy eating plan and budget needs to be flexible for your lifestyle.
For more information on creating a budget, download Budgeting Made Easy.