Yeah I said it, the “B” word….Budget. My FPU class just finished Lesson Three called Cash Flow Planning, and when most of us think about a budget, all kinds of negative thoughts surface. First we think it will keep us from having fun. If you are like me then you may have thought it was more trouble than it was worth. Seriously, why should we do a budget when it always seems to collapse midway through the month? Most of us have avoided doing a budget our entire life all because of these misconceptions.
The truth is that the budget is not something that should make us squirm. It should make us feel safe and secure. When you have a plan it eliminates that uneasy feeling you have when you spend money that you aren’t sure you have. It keeps your money from walking away without a trace. Our money disappears and we just accept it like it is no big deal. No big deal?? I am here to assure you that it is a very big deal. Your budget is a blueprint for your life. A blueprint that will tell everything precisely where to go.
Dave Ramsey often uses the analogy of building a house. You surely would not want to have your house built without first having a plan for the builders to go by. If you did, then your house would probably be very unique to say the least. A blueprint leaves no question about where everything goes, and your budget does the same thing. It makes your money behave.
When most people think of a budget, they think of it as something restrictive. This is not the case at all. Your budget is a plan for your money, and it is called personal finance for a reason. What you choose to spend your money on is up to you, but it is extremely important that you know where it is going at all times. When your goals are clear and concise you will make less mistakes and more smart decisions with your money. You will be so amazed at just how much different you start thinking and handling your money once you have a budget. It makes you think about what is important to you and the desire to achieve what’s important grows with each new budget.
Dave also says, if you do rich people stuff with money you will become rich, if you do poor people stuff then you will be poor. This is why he says that if we want to become rich we need to study the habits of rich people. They are rich for a reason and it has everything to do with the plan they have in place.
It is also very important to understand that a budget is not going to be fun at first. It’s going to be tough and it is going to frustrate you if you are not careful. The reason why a budget fails most of the time is because we don’t follow it. Another thing is that we do not know everything to include so when something pops up because we forgot about it the budget is dead. The truth is that it takes about 3 or 4 months to really start to get the hang of it. Don’t worry you can do it!!
If you find yourselves asking or saying any of the statements below, maybe it is time for you to take control once and for all. Maybe it’s time for you to try something different for a change. Maybe, just maybe, you could build a strong foundation and change your family tree FOREVER.
- Where in the world did all that money go?
- What do I have to show for it?
- I need a credit card in case of an emergency.
- My stupid bank charged me an arm and a leg worth of overdraft fees.
- I hope I win the lottery!
- What do you mean reconcile my checkbook?
- I need a co-signer, can you co-sign for me?
- I’ll always have a car payment!
- I’ll pay my electric bill next month.
- I need a payday loan!
If you have never asked yourself any of those questions then you are either in complete denial, or you have or are on your way to serious wealth. How much do you have saved up? A budget will help you have a clue about your life and your future, so go make your budget now! If you keep doing the same things, you’ll keep getting the same results, so do something different.
** I have created a budget for Enemy of Debt that I think will make your budgeting experience easier. I still have some other forms to add to it before it is complete (debt snowball & savings allocation worksheets), but if you are interested in the budget worksheet now, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be happy to send you the budget form.