It’s true. Your budget is about more than money. In fact, money is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to learning how to create a budget.
I’ve helped countless people learn to budget over the years. The one thing that I hear them say repeatedly is how their budget helped them in more ways they ever realized.
WHY A BUDGET IS ABOUT MORE THAN MONEY
IT PUTS YOU IN CONTROL
When you struggle with money, it feels as if your money is always telling you where it needs to go. There is a sense of losing control.
The minute you create your budget, you are saying “ENOUGH!” Your budget swings the pendulum from the money taking over to you taking over.
Now, when payday rolls around, you no longer feel like you are chasing the money trail trying to pick up anything that is left over. Instead, when the check hits your bank account, you direct where it will go and instantly take control.
YOU UNDERSTAND YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION
This is a painful, but helpful, part of having a budget. When you see your finances in writing, it can strike a nerve and in fact, make you physically ill.
However, the up side of this is that you finally see and understand the bigger picture. There is power in knowledge and understanding what you need to change financially.
Sure, it would be simpler to run and hide from it. However, once you can accept the reality of your finances, then you can move forward.
YOU MAKE BETTER DECISIONS
There is a saying that many of us have heard before “Follow the money.” While this usually means corruption, it can apply to your life as well.
When you follow where you spend your money, you learn how you are wasteful. It helps you figure out where you need to cut back and control your spending. Your budget helps you do that.
Once you know that you have only $100 a week to spend on groceries, you think twice before you buy anything. Your budget helps you make better money decisions.
When you are more informed, you begin to make better decisions – not only with your money, but in all areas of your life.
YOU FINALLY HAVE FINANCIAL GOALS
Once you see how you much money you have available to spend and where you need to spend it, you decide on what is most important to you. If there is just $100 left over, would you rather go have a fun evening out, or save for your next family vacation?
Your money can finally help you set those goals you want to achieve. The great thing is that your goal is unique to you and your family. No one else will have one just like yours.
Once you can set those goals, it gives you more purpose when it comes to money. One you can finally achieve your goal, it is truly liberating.
For example, my husband and I recently paid cash for a new car. Never in my wildest dreams, did I ever think that could be a reality. But, we set the goal to save and do it and achieved it. I have so much pride in that car. Not because it is newer, but because there is not debt following me wherever I drive.
YOU FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF
This is the one that surprised me the most. Even though our first budget was grim (made me cry), I somehow felt better. For us, it was that we had a problem and sat down to determine how to solve it. We were struggling to make ends meet and the budget was the first step in doing that.
Once we had our budget in place, we began to make smarter spending decisions. We began to eat better. Both my husband and I slept better at night.
It was an odd experience, but our budget truly changed our negative outlook into a positive one.
Your budget is about more than money and once you have yours in place, you too will have these life changing experiences.