Do You Have A Budget?

Do you make a budget for your family? I know, a lot of us don’t because it’s just one of those things that isn’t very fun to have to do… but honestly, it’s like trying to get somewhere without a map. Even worse… if you don’t know how much you are spending and what you are spending it on you can get yourself in all kinds of financial trouble. Let’s say that you spend just $20 more per month than you make. Especially if you have some savings, or you are using a credit card, you probably won’t even notice, but over the course of a few years, this can add up to quite a bit of debt. Believe me, I’ve been there and done that.

Keeping a budget can show you at a glance how much money is coming in, how much is going out and where that money is going. That information is crucial when it comes to adjusting your spending habits. And making sure you’re not spending more than you make is just one of the many benefits of keeping a personal budget. You will also be able to see where you “waste” money (for example paying for oodles of cell phone minutes that you never use, or that gym membership that you forgot about and also don’t use), and make little painless adjustments that will help you increase your savings or pay off your consumer debt.

A budget is a great financial tool and it doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t need any special software. Just keep a notebook with a column for income and expenses or set up a simple spreadsheet. The key is to update it regularly - at least once a week and then take some time each month to review and evaluate how you are doing.