The Importance of Budgeting
If you’re struggling financially, budgeting is one of the best things you can do to improve your situation.
But budgeting isn’t just for people who are struggling. No matter what kind of shape your finances are in, you can benefit from having a budget. A budget can prevent you from overspending, ensure you’re prepared for emergencies, and help you reach your finanical goals faster.
If you’re on the fence about starting a budget or you think you don’t need one, here’s what budgeting can do for you and why it’s so important:
- The Importance of Budgeting
- 11 Reasons Why Budgeting Is Important
- 1. Budgeting Puts You in Control
- 2. Budgeting Sheds Light on Your Spending
- 3. Budgeting Helps You Prepare for Emergencies
- 4. Budgeting Gets You Out and Keeps You Out of Debt
- 5. Budgeting Helps You Meet Your Goals
- 6. Your Budget Helps You Cut Expenses
- 7. Budgeting Relieves Financial Stress
- 8. Budgeting Strengthens Your Marriage
- 9. Budgeting Helps You Build a Saving Habit
- 10. Budgeting Allows You to Retire Comfortably
- 11. Budgeting Improves Your Overall Quality of Life
- The Value of Budgeting
11 Reasons Why Budgeting Is Important
Living on a budget is an important part of good money management. Budgeting is also something anyone can do to make their financial lives better.
Here are 11 benefits of budgeting your money:
1. Budgeting Puts You in Control
Having a wallet full of maxed-out credit cards, having no savings, and not being sure if you can make rent is stressful and scary.
You can’t just ignore financial problems and hope they go away. Take control of your money rather than letting it control you. The first step toward that is building a budget.
2. Budgeting Sheds Light on Your Spending
One of the consequences of not budgeting is not knowing where your money goes. If the end of the month arrives and you wonder where all your money went, it’s time to start a budget. A budget forces you to examine your spending.
Once you start budgeting your money, you’ll know:
- Exactly how much money is coming in
- How much money you need to cover your monthly bills
- The amount you can afford to spend at your discretion
- How much cash you can put toward savings and other goals
With that information available, you can plan your future, save money, and track your progress. You’ll know how much spending power you have and you can keep your spending in check.
3. Budgeting Helps You Prepare for Emergencies
Life is full of surprises. Many of those surprises are expensive.
Job loss, unplanned medical costs, car repairs, and other unexpected expenses can cause financial strain when you’re not prepared. Without an adequate emergency fund, you may have to turn to credit cards, cash advances, or other forms of high-interest debt.
Your budget should include room for establishing an emergency fund. Set a goal of saving three to six months’ worth of living expenses. Put money in a separate savings account every month until your emergency fund is fully funded.
4. Budgeting Gets You Out and Keeps You Out of Debt
In the age of plastic and not using cash or checks much, it’s easy to overspend without realizing it. Getting out of debt and living debt free improves your credit score, allows you to save more, and increases your financial security. A budget helps you avoid living beyond your means and getting into debt.
Budgeting can also help you get out of debt faster if you’re carrying debt. As you build your budget, look for expenses you can get rid of or lower. Use the money you free up to put extra money toward your student loans, credit cards, or other debt payments.
5. Budgeting Helps You Meet Your Goals
No matter your financial goals, a budget is your roadmap for meeting them. You might want to go from renting a home to owning one, save for retirement, or start saving for college tuition. Maybe you want to travel more, cover a major expense in cash rather than on credit, or have the Christmas you’ve always wanted.
With a budget in place, how you spend your money aligns with your financial goals. When you set a short-term or long-term goal, create a category for it in your budget. Funnel money toward it every month like you would any of your monthly expenses.
6. Your Budget Helps You Cut Expenses
Once you know where your monthly income goes, finding ways to lower your expenses is easier. As you track your income and expenses, look for things to stop buying to save money.
You might identify bad spending habits, things you pay for and don’t use, or things you’re paying too much for. Gym memberships, streaming services, dining out, and impulse purchases are good candidates to be cut or eliminated. You might look at your spending and decide to start shopping around for a new car insurance policy, cell phone plan, or place to live.
7. Budgeting Relieves Financial Stress
How many nights have you spent tossing and turning because you were worried about how you would pay the bills?
Financial stress can affect your physical and emotional well-being. Insomnia, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, anxiety, and weight gain or loss are all very real side effects of the stress that comes from money problems.
You might think you’ll feel better if you avoid calls from creditors and ignore your billing statements. Denial and avoidance will only make things worse.
You need to face financial problems head-on. You need a plan to help you regain control, get your finances on track, and move forward without the stress. Your budget is that plan.
When you budget your money, you’ll rest easier. Your situation might not be that great for now, but you’re regaining control, building financial security, and you’re no longer overwhelmed.
You can go to bed knowing that you have the money to pay your bills on time, you’re not overspending, and you’re working toward a better financial future.
8. Budgeting Strengthens Your Marriage
My husband and I never really fought about money. That’s a good thing because studies have shown that arguing about money is one of the leading predictors of divorce. According to a researcher at Kansas State University, financial arguments are the top predictor of divorce by far.
We both had the same hands-off attitude toward managing money. Neither of us tracked spending or set financial goals.
We just assumed those things would work themselves out. But they never do.
The universe delivered a few unexpected surprises, like forcing us to live on one income without warning. We realized our financial future was not something we could ignore.
We needed to establish better financial habits and set realistic goals. Tracking our expenses and starting a budget were the first steps we took.
By working together and creating a budget you can live with, you get on the same page. We created long-term and short-term goals. We started making smarter decisions together, which brought us closer.
Setting a budget gives you a spending plan which predetermines where your money goes. There’s not much left to fight about once the budget is in place.
When you budget together, you and your partner can build the life you want as a team without arguing over money.
9. Budgeting Helps You Build a Saving Habit
When you’re not budgeting, it’s hard to prioritize saving and investing. Without a spending plan, you might completely overlook putting money aside and spend down to zero every time you get a paycheck.
Or you might figure you’ll save whatever cash you left at month end. But the amount you have left at the end of the month varies. Some months there might not be anything left at all.
When you have a budget, you can make sure you pay yourself first. You’ll create a budget category for savings and treat it like a bill. Every time you get paid, you’ll put money toward your savings.
It doesn’t matter if you save 10%, 20%, or a fixed dollar amount. The important thing is to consistently save a portion of your income. Budgeting ensures that you do that.
10. Budgeting Allows You to Retire Comfortably
You don’t want to work for the rest of your life, do you? Then you need to plan and save for retirement.
With a budget, you can set aside a percentage of your income to contribute to your retirement accounts every month.
Treat your retirement fund like any other necessary recurring expense. Your budget will keep you on track to having a nice nest egg and a happier retirement.
11. Budgeting Improves Your Overall Quality of Life
Imagine a life where you don’t stress over money, all your bills are paid on time, and you buy things without guilt or worry. You rest easy every night knowing you’re progressing toward your financial goals.
That’s what life can be like when you have a plan and you follow it.
Your budget is the key to financial stability.
The Value of Budgeting
Why is budgeting important to your life? Budgeting puts you on the path to solving financial difficulties, spending money wisely, and reaching your goals.
If you’re not currently budgeting your money, today is the perfect day to start a budget. You can use a pen and paper, a spreadsheet, or choose a budgeting app. The sooner you start, the better.
Image Credits: Pexels
Sara Graham is a frugal living and household budgeting expert. Her writing has appeared on MSN Money, The Good Men Project, Fairygodboss, and several other online publications. She is the co-founder of KindaFrugal.com, a personal finance and frugal living blog.