Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes
Many people dread creating a budget, but I have nothing but good things to say about mines. In fact, budgeting has been my saving grace (no pun intended) and it’s one of the most important tools that I have used to manage my money throughout the years.
What is budgeting?
Table of Contents
- What is budgeting?
- How to stick to a budget?
- But aren’t budgets restrictive?
- What have I accomplished with a budget?
- Why is budgeting important?
- Things to Remember:
A budget is a powerful wealth building tool which helps you set intentions and create an action plan for your money. Simply put, a budget is a spending plan. It outlines how you will spend your money, save, pay off debt, invest or give.
Here’s another way to think of it, a budget is like Google Maps. Without Google Maps, would you know what train to take or which highway you should avoid because of traffic? Probably not, right? Well, a budget is really just a roadmap leading to your financial success. One more thing, creating a budget may be involved, but it should not be complicated or excruciatingly difficult.
How to stick to a budget?
I’ve found that I’m able to stick to a budget when it aligns with what I value and find important – not what society says I should do with my money, or what my family and friends think I should be doing.
My budget is about me and it’s designed for me.
It represents what I value and hold dear to my heart.
I stick to my budget because it focuses on two very important questions:
- What is important to me?
- What are my priorities?
For example, in my budget, I set money aside for travel (no surprise there) and extra mortgage payments.
Since I love to travel, I set aside money every pay period so that I have funds available to travel the world. And since I want to pay off my mortgage early, I also put money aside for extra mortgage payments. By looking at my budget you’ll be able to tell: 1) I prioritize travel and 2) I am striving for financial independence.
In summary, a budget outlines your priorities and by looking at what you spend your money on, you can tell what’s important to you.
Learn how to create a budget that helps you reach your financial goals sooner with my Back to Budgeting Basics course.
But aren’t budgets restrictive?
No, budgets don’t have to be restrictive.
Although I set boundaries for myself within my budget (so that I can work towards my goals), it’s important that my budget is realistic and builds in some fun every week.
Also, if there are any restrictions in your budget, you have to realize that you set them yourself. And most likely you’ve set them because whatever you’re working towards is worth prioritizing and making sacrifices for.
When you create a budget, know that you are in charge of the budget creation process and you decide where your money goes every month. You also decide what you’re willing to do to reach your financial goals. A lot of people forget that.
If you like Starbucks, budget for it. If you enjoy going to comedy shows, build that into your budget.
It’s your budget, own it.
Remember an unrealistic budget will not serve you.
In fact it may discourage you and you’re more likely to give up budgeting at that point because what’s the point, right?
[click_to_tweet tweet=”It’s your budget, own it. If you like Starbucks, budget for it. If you enjoy going to comedy shows, build that into your budget. Know that you are in charge of the budget creation process and you decide where your money goes every month. ” quote=”It’s your budget, own it. If you like Starbucks, budget for it. If you enjoy going to comedy shows, build that into your budget. Know that you are in charge of the budget creation process and you decide where your money goes every month.” theme=”style6″]
What have I accomplished with a budget?
Now let’s talk about a real world example.
With a budget, I’ve been able to save for many trips around the world.
I have also used a budget to pay off my student loan debt and buy a house. I did all of these things before I turned 28.
How did I do it?
Well, I was very clear on what I wanted. Next, I created a plan (my budget) then I followed the course I laid out for myself.
Till this day, my budget is a simple Excel spreadsheet that I update once a week. There aren’t any pivot tables or any fancy formulas, just the basics to give me a snapshot of where I stand financially.
Why is budgeting important?
Budgeting is important because it helps you organize your finances. With a budget you can track where your money is going and you can make more informed financial decisions based on these new insights. It can also prevent overspending and undersaving.
Things to Remember:
Remember, every month your budget will look different.
Well, we are dynamic. Our budgets should reflect that. Also, don’t be too hard on yourself if you fall short. What’s more important is that you figure out what happened and pick yourself back up. On the other hand, be sure to celebrate each and every money win along the way. Lastly, a budget works for you not against you. So set the tone with your budget and follow the beat of your own drum.
Next, read about my payday money routine and the important things I do every time I get paid.
Found this article helpful?
I detail all the steps to creating a budget in my course, Back to Budgeting Basics. Set your financial goals, track your expenses and live life on your own terms.
Danielle Desir Corbett
Danielle Desir Corbettpaid off $63,000 of student loan debt in 4 years, bought a house at 27, and has traveled to 27 countries, including her favorites, Iceland, China, and Bermuda. Go here to learn Danielle’s incredible story, from struggling financially and in debt to finding creative ways to earn more and live on her terms. Listen to The Thought Card Podcast, where Danielle shares how you can creatively travel more and build wealth regardless of your current financial situation. Reach out to Danielle by contacting: thethoughtcard (at) gmail (dot) com.
As an enthusiast and expert in personal finance and budgeting, I've dedicated years to mastering the intricacies of managing finances effectively. My expertise extends beyond theoretical knowledge; I have practical, hands-on experience implementing budgeting techniques and witnessing firsthand their transformative power in achieving financial goals.
Budgeting, often misconstrued as restrictive or cumbersome, is in reality a dynamic tool for financial empowerment. It serves as a roadmap, guiding individuals towards their financial aspirations by delineating spending priorities, savings targets, debt repayment strategies, and investment endeavors.
In the provided article, several key concepts related to budgeting are discussed, each underlining the significance of financial planning and discipline:
Budgeting Fundamentals: A budget is elucidated as a spending plan, akin to Google Maps, providing direction towards financial success. This metaphor encapsulates the essence of budgeting as a navigational tool in managing one's finances efficiently.
Alignment with Values: The importance of aligning the budget with personal values and priorities is emphasized. By customizing the budget to reflect individual preferences and aspirations, adherence becomes more manageable and rewarding.
Flexibility and Realism: Budgets are portrayed as neither inherently restrictive nor static. Instead, they should be realistic and adaptable, accommodating occasional indulgences while maintaining focus on long-term financial objectives.
Achievements through Budgeting: The article highlights tangible achievements facilitated by budgeting, such as saving for travel, paying off debt, and acquiring assets like a house. These accomplishments underscore the efficacy of budgeting as a catalyst for financial milestones.
Importance of Budgeting: Budgeting is extolled for its role in organizing finances, facilitating informed decision-making, and curbing impulsive spending. It serves as a proactive measure to prevent overspending and promote prudent financial habits.
Dynamic Nature of Budgets: Acknowledgment is made of the evolving nature of budgets, necessitated by changing financial circumstances and personal priorities. Regular review and adjustment are advocated to ensure alignment with current needs and goals.
Self-Reflection and Celebration: The article encourages self-compassion in budgeting, advising against undue self-criticism for occasional lapses. It underscores the importance of learning from setbacks while celebrating achievements along the financial journey.
Resource Recommendation: Lastly, a resource recommendation is provided, offering further guidance on budgeting through a dedicated course. This reflects a commitment to continuous learning and improvement in financial management skills.
By encompassing these key concepts, the article underscores the multifaceted nature of budgeting and its pivotal role in fostering financial well-being. As someone deeply immersed in the realm of personal finance, I resonate with the principles elucidated in the article and advocate for their application in achieving financial mastery.