Have you ever received extra money (like a tax refund, bonus, raise, etc), spent it and then wondered where it went? This can be an extremely frustrating experience (one that seems to be in an endless loop). Is there any hope of ever conquering this problem?
Absolutely, and it all starts with doing a budget. I know most people do not get a high from doing a budget. However, consider this. Have you ever walked into a grocery store for a few items and came out with a cart load full of stuff? Conversely, have you ever made a grocery list of what you need, checked it twice and only bought what was on the list?
That is all a budget is. It is simply a list. A budget is simply a list of what?
A budget is a list of all of your income and all of your expenses in a given month. Financial expert Dave Ramsey says it best, “A budget is on paper on purpose BEFORE the month begins.”
When it comes to doing a budget you need to do it every month. Think about it, some months you need an oil change, some months you do not. You will spend more on food in November than in January. When you do a budget every month, this gives you the opportunity to plan how you are going to give, save and spend your hard earned money.
The other key when doing a budget is this equation: Income – Expenses = Exactly Zero. At first one may think that this would cause overdrafts to happen. However, if you stick to your plan, you will be just fine. The easy part is creating the budget. The hard part is living it out. The good news is the results of doing a budget speak for themselves.
“We have gone from people who hated discussing money and had no understanding of a budget, to a couple who have a detailed budget. We actually love having a budget now. It has made us closer as a couple because there are no money secrets and we can now make informed decisions, plus the bonus is that we have more money each month.” – Earnie & Lyn; Ames, Iowa
If you want to win at money, you must do a budget every month. This will help you reach your goals (i.e. becoming debt free, saving for your children’s college, going on vacation, etc). If you are one that has struggled at making this whole budget process work, click here and take the opportunity to have someone coach you through how to follow a budget and take control of your money, FOREVER!