A Monthly Budget Tells Us What We Can Afford and Helps Us Plan on Purchasing It
We’ve been keeping a monthly budget at our house for a few years now. Recently I’ve gotten lazy about it and my spending habits have really declined. It’s time to review the benefits of a monthly budget and get back on track.
Having a monthly budget and being financially prepared will cover more disasters than any other preparation you can.
No more worrying about:
- -Car repairs
- -Sickness and hospital bills
- -Smaller pay checks
- -Unexpected expenses – you know…those little expenses that cause our heart rate to jump when they appear out of the blue.
PreparednessMama’s Top 7 benefits of a Monthly Budget
1. It leaves a couple nothing to fight about (financially speaking) – My husband and I don’t really fight, but having all the expenses in one place and discussing it together has really cut down on the financial stress. It makes for a happier home, giving us an accurate picture of the financial health of our family..
2. You know where you stand with your money – When you take the time to budget and get all your expenses in one place you have a starting place. Even if it’s bad (you don’t have enough to cover the bills) at least you have a place to start. A monthly budget is a living document that should be updated as expenses change.
3. A monthly budget is liberating – Far from being restrictive, having a monthly budget is a way to tell your money where to go. You decide what the priorities are for the month and where your dollars will go. Whether you want to focus on purchasing a special item or building savings, the choice is yours.
4. You can view out of control expenses at a glance – We use our debit card for most food purchases. Groceries and dining spending can get really out of control, but I won’t know that if I haven’t budgeted and reviewed my actual expenses. Budgeting gives me a snapshot so I can address and correct excessive spending.
5. Budgeting helps you to fit in special purchases – There are certain times of the year when my favorite supplies go on sale. I know I can fit in big purchases for food storage or preparedness by adding it to my monthly budget.
6. Budgets are for forward thinking people – they help you plan for even bigger expenses that might take you years to save. Things like vacation, retirement or college. Take a bite out a big expense by putting a monthly portion aside.
7. A budget transforms your money into a tool – Change your mindset about money. Instead of spending money impulsively, use it to reach your goals. Children should be involved in the family budget process and see their parents work a budget, they will learn the value of money. They will also learn why you must sometimes say no to their wants.
Serious money savers always have a budget. You can do it on a yellow pad, in an Excel spreadsheet or be an ultimate budgeter and use the budget portion included in your accounting program. I use Quicken, but any program that lets you keep track of your purchases and balance your accounts will have a budgeting page you can utilize.
When we began budgeting it required an hour or two of our time. Now I get all the figures together and schedule monthly budget reviews with my family. That might sound excessive, but we actually do get together and review the expenses and the family goals each month. We even build in rewards for staying on budget.
University of Florida – Managing in Tough Times
There is a simple secret to budgeting, one that’s easy to forget – If you don’t follow them, they don’t work! The biggest benefits of a monthly budget? Simpler life with less stress. Now who wouldn’t want that? There are affiliate links in this post. Thanks for supporting PreparednessMama in this way.