If you ever found yourself lost during your adult life because you simply can’t afford the things that you like to do, you need to stop and think. Often, people haven’t set themselves up in a way that allows them to have the money to afford what they deserve. This is the fundamental reason why people need to have a budget in their adult lives.
Preparing a budget for your daily needs is essential if you want to enjoy every bit of your money, as well as making sure that you can spend every bit of your coin in a good way.
If you feel you belong to those who have been struggling financially all their lives, here are eight reasons why you need start creating a budget plan:
Your budget gives you direction: By creating a budget plan, you can find out where every dollar is currently being spent, and this visual representation of the actual expenditures can show you a direction that can be followed. It’s like a roadmap for you to bring many treasures into your life. Moreover, you can reroute your budget plan if ever there are bumps along the way, especially when you see that you’re making mistakes. Surely, creating a budget might take up some of your time, but it can definitely be worth it especially when you constantly update it.
Budget plans reveal waste so that you can dispose or avoid them as soon as possible: The best thing about budget plans, especially detailed ones, is that they can be compared against your actual monthly expenditures to reveal any misuse of your money. When money is being spent on non-budgeted items, budget shortfalls are created. With your budget plan, it can be easily corrected. Remember, if you can identify waste, you can then make the necessary moves to either eliminate them or avoid them in the future.
It can help you control spending: Especially when you find out that you are spending way more than you wanted to, you can now control your spending by adjusting your lifestyle. Maybe it’s something as minimal as an extra espresso shot every day that could amount to 20 dollars a month. This is also applicable when outstanding debt is weighing on the monthly finances. Your budget can show areas where spending can be reduced to find the money to use in other aspects of your financial plan.
Budget plans guide you to set your priorities straight: Especially for families, discussions over the budget can reveal differences in priorities that may often cause conflict. Conversations to address the underlying priorities can also correct the problems and reduce disagreements over money.
Budgeting leads to an increase in your savings: By having a set budget (and applying the other benefits of having a budget), you can make room for more savings. Short- and long-term goals can be reached through efforts that seemed impossible just months before a budget was created. Savings become the highest priority and money can be saved ahead of paying the bills since every expense is closely monitored and compared to the budget.
It teaches you to start good habits: By building a budget and sticking to it, you can subconsciously discipline yourself in the long run. Efforts to stay within the budget build new spending habits that can be maintained over time. Working within the budget also shifts actual expenses from unnecessary categories into the most essential household items. Money will soon be available for the most important expenses, and debt reduction becomes possible.
It really helps in getting out of debt: Paying debt while still living a comfortable life becomes more possible when you have a budget. With your budget planned ahead, knowing your priorities, eliminating waste, and building habits can really help you when it comes to paying your debt. As less money is spent, excess income becomes available. This is considered your financial margin, and these funds can then be applied to other financial goals.
It makes you reach your financial goals faster: Finally, a budget plan allows you to achieve your financial goals faster simply because you become more financially efficient every day of your life. Because you eliminate waste and savings becomes a priority, you can easily move toward major goals like funding college education for your children, getting a car, or building a business. Many goals can be set and reached because the budget has been used consistently to monitor your financial activities.
Before technology brought on so many financial tools, having a budget plan was really tedious. Physically writing down expenditures and manually calculating them could have been an arduous task and would discourage anyone to start budgeting. Fortunately, the digital age has opened the doors for various tools and applications, and these can be accessed through your home computer, your tablet, your phone, or all of them at once.
Start off with 3 of the best budgeting tools available online:
BillGuard is one of the most convenient ways to track your money and expenditures. You can keep track of your spending by type, month and location. Also, you can get free access to your credit score and other identity protection tools like data breach alerts.
The application provides easy connection to credit card issuers. You won’t realize how much you actually need the convenience of easily connecting with your credit card issuers until you start using it. BillGuard can also provide details about transactions, which serves as a useful tool in your expenses tracker.
Also, BillGuard uses crowdsourcing to flag often-reported merchants. This can be helpful during decision making, especially when you don’t have a lot of time to browse through reviews for items that you want to buy.
When it comes to getting out of debt – be it a simple car loan, housing loan, or something bigger like business debts – a financial application like Creditfix can really help you a lot. Through its website, you can get an “online financial advisor” that can help you fill out important documents, get necessary information about your income and expenditure, and understand various details about your finances. Think about it as a website that works as a personal financial advisor.
Creditfix also provides a platform for you to find the best solution for your debt. The app can give you advice on what you can do to clear any financial obligations. It can even tell you how much you can afford to pay each month during your debt clearing. Furthermore, it can give you trust deed solutions, Individual Voluntary Arrangements, and any other means to resolve any financial challenges you may be in right now.
Formerly known as Easy Envelope Budget Aid, or EEBA, Goodbudget is a budgeting service that helps you log and allocate your finances. You can access it via your web browser or download the free app on iOS and Android devices from the App Store and Google Play store.
GoodBudget is a highly visual app. It creates an infographic presentation of your finances, using pie charts for your budget and quirky envelopes for your expenditures. It’s another budgeting tool that can help you keep track of your spending, but still provide a nice visual.
In the app, you can use the “envelopes” to allocate money toward frequent expenses like rent, groceries and entertainment. You can categorize items for saving and emergency funds, and easily customize your envelopes especially for your financial accounts like a checking account, savings account, credit card or cash.