My family's finances have been running on a budget for so long, it's hard to remember what our financial life was like before I developed our budget. I'll admit that living by a strict budget isn't always easy, but it does make life easier overall. The simple fact is, our financial situation is far better now than it would have been without our budget.
Here are three ways our budget has helped us find financial security.
Before we setup our budget, we were constantly overspending. Not to the point where we were falling behind on our monthly expenses, but we got too close for comfort on several occasions. It was nothing for us to walk into a store looking for one thing, and end up buying 10 things we really didn't need. I remember on one trip to the local big-box store my husband and I went in to buy a broom, and ended up buying a $100 fishing pole we couldn't afford. However, that isn't a problem now because I can see how much money we have available to spend at a glace thanks to our budget.
Save for retirement
Several years ago I couldn't fathom saving for retirement because our spending was so out of control. I just couldn't see where the money for savings would come from. After I began tracking our spending for our budget plan, I started to see where we were wasting money, and more importantly how we could cut back our spending to save money. For example, I learned that we could save $20 a month or $240 a year by eating out one less time a month. In the end, our budget revealed a lot of little things we were wasting money on without realizing it.
Enjoy our money
The best thing our budget has done for us is to help us reduce our overall debt, so we can have enough money left each month to pay for luxuries. Before the budget, we were buying things we wanted and doing the things we wanted to do, but the stress of trying to stay afloat didn't allow us to fully in enjoy our money. However, now that we have our spending and finances under control, and have a set allowance for entertainment and luxury purchases, we get much more enjoyment out of our money.
So, while it is true that living on and keeping up with a strict budget isn't easy, the overall financial benefits make it worth the effort.
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More from this contributor:
- Budget, Tax & Economy
- Personal Budgeting