Ducks 'n a Row: Beginners Guide To Budgeting - Why You Need One!

27 January 2017

Beginners Guide To Budgeting - Why You Need One!

When you hear the word "budget" what happens to you? I can tell you what used to happen to me. That word made me feel squeemish, uncomfortable and in my head I was saying "oh no, not that again!" It was like I was being asked to direct the flow of a river when the water was all gone! Sound familiar?

finances, debt, spending, saving, planning, budgets

We work hard to earn a living, don't we. And we know that is important to use that money wisely. In actuality, a budget is our friend. Budgets help is to see at a glance what we have coming in, what has to go out and where changes need to be made. 

Now here's a puzzle - you would think it would be impossible for more to go out than came in, wouldn't you?  But it happens all the time. It is called "credit." We all know that credit is a big hole that is being dug for us and many never come out from it. Budgets are a tool to keep matters from getting worse and help us to find a way out of that hole!

So, what is a budget? Putting it simply, a budget is you telling your money where to go! 

A Budget Tracks Where Your Money Is Going
A budget simply tracks your money. You write down where the money comes from, and how much, each month (your income) and then write out everything you spend it on, starting with your regular monthly bills like mortgage or rent, car payments, utility bills etc. What is left after all the bills are paid is your "discretionary income." 

A Budget Helps You Identify Where You Waste Money (that hole again!)
Having it all in front of you in black and white helps you identify things on which you are wasting your money.

For instance, budgeting helps you to more carefully consider whether you want to spend well over $200 a month on cable TV or $150 on that super cell phone plan. It will help you find bills that can go away entirely, like a yearly magazine subscription to something you never read. Using a budget forces you to go through your expenses and reevaluate if this is REALLY how you want to spend your paycheck. 

Soon you will see things that can be eliminated or downsized. Give your cable company a call - can they give you a better deal? Their competition may offer their services for a fraction of the price. Shop around. 

Budgets Allow You To Be Proactive About Savings
Saving money without a budget is hard. At the beginning of the month we go in with the best of intentions but there is seldom anything left at the end of the month.

A budget gives you a chance to be more proactive. Set aside some money for savings at the beginning of the month, even if it’s just $20. Put it in the budget as a regular expense, just like you do with your other urgent bills. If you need to, open a separate savings account so that you are not tempted to spend it.
A Budget Ensures That You Are Not Spending More Than You Are Making  Most importantly, your budget will keep you on track and help you make sure that you are not spending more than your income. And I don’t have to tell you that that is so important for your financial well-being.

If budgeting is overwhelming to you, I suggest getting your hands on a simple guide to budgeting that will get you started. If you cannot afford to buy one, you can find on at your the public library! Personally, I have benefited greatly from many of Dave Ramseys materials (Amazon links below.)


Note: this author is an Amazon affiliate. Anything that you purchase from Amazon by going there from Ducks n a Row will result in a small commission for me [though you will pay the same great prices] In advance, thank you! ...Sinea

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