How a Budget Can Help you Reach Your Goals

by Marcy on November 25, 2008 · 0 comments

The following is a guest post written by Jennifer from Getting Ahead. Jennifer is a home schooling mother of 4 (and a fellow Ohioan!). I have learned so much about cutting back from her blog! She proves that it is possible to live well on less. If you enjoy this post, you may want to subscribe to her blog.

I know that some people don’t like to hear the word “budget”, but honestly, budgets should not be bad things. A budget is a tool to help you reach your goals. A budget is a wonderful source of information and possibly even motivation. A budget will help you figure out where you stand financially and help you get where you want to go. If you don’t have a budget, now is the time to get one!

If you have never done a budget before you might wonder how you are supposed to figure out how much to put in each designated category. You can go back through your old receipts to help you figure out where you have been spending your money. For bills, just look at your previous statements to get the information. While you are putting together your budget, track your spending to get a better idea of where your money is going.

Don’t get upset thinking that a budget is going to limit you and prevent you from doing what you want to do. No one is standing over your shoulder telling you that you can’t eat out anymore. YOU are setting up this budget and you need to set it up to reflect how you want to spend your money. Remember though, that most people don’t have an unlimited supply of money, so you will probably need to make some adjustments to make your budget fit your life. In the end you might have to make some adjustments to your life to make it fit your budget, but remember that is your choice.

Once you have all your information in place on your bills and what you have been spending it is time to decide if some areas need more or less money. Maybe you don’t ever feel like you have enough money to purchase clothing. Lower your spending in other areas so that you can put more money into the clothing category. These amounts can change from paycheck to paycheck as well. A budget is not written in stone; in fact I do a totally new budget every time my husband gets paid. I have found that things come up and rather than getting frustrated at how things always seem to “blow my budget” I can account for everything each time he gets paid and adjust in other categories to accommodate them.

This is the time to really figure out your goals and what you want. Do you find that you are spending a ridiculous amount of money on clothing each month, but that you really don’t ever wear what you buy or don’t even enjoy buying it? Do you find that you eat out a lot, but don’t really enjoy it or could easily make the same thing at home? Do you want to save money for a house, but wonder where you are going to get the money from? Maybe you want to take a vacation next year or pay off debt. Whatever your desires are, your budget is a tool that will help you manage your money so that you can achieve your goals. You can cut your spending in the areas that don’t matter to you and increase your savings or spending in the areas that are important to you. It is your budget and you are the boss. Make it work for you and it will help you reach your goals.

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