Here are my top 5 reasons to have a budget – plus how it brings me freedom!
One of the things in my life that keeps my marriage and finances stable is having a budget in place – AND Sticking to it! I’ve heard so many people ask me why you should have a budget, or what are the advantages to having a budget. Or they need guidance on how better at keep track of their money so that they don’t go further into debt. They will also tell me about the tension they have with their spouse over finances. The benefits of budgeting in our house is that it has solved all of these common problems!
I know that the word “budget” just sounds like a hassle to many. There are many beliefs that stop people from creating and maintaining a budget. Here are some excuses I have heard: 1) Keeping track of receipts in annoying. 2) Budgets limit spending, therefore limiting fun. 3) I don’t have time to keep track of everything I purchase. I’m sure there are plenty more reasons people come up with in order to avoid this so- called “chore”.
But for me and my husband, our budget is NOT viewed as an annoying chore. In fact it is a HUGE source of FREEDOM in our family! If you don’t already have a budget in place, then I hope hearing how much it is crucial to maintain peace in our home will inspire you to take control of your finances and gain some freedom as well!
Here are 5 Reasons To Have A Budget Plus How It Brings Me FREEDOM:
1. I have ZERO guilt when I purchase something. I know exactly how much money I have to spend on specific items, therefore even if I go out and get a new outfit for myself, I don’t feel guilty over it because I know it was planned for. I like the security in knowing that every time I swipe my credit card, I know we have the money to pay off our credit card each month. None of my purchases will cause stress or alarm in our family finances or put us into unnecessary debt. I also really like planning ahead when it comes to gift purchases. Planning ahead can really SAVE BIG, which also makes shopping for items in your budget even more enjoyable!
2. Retail therapy is OK! If I’m having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, and I just want some mommy alone time, then I have been known to tell my hubby when he gets home from work and that I’m heading out to the store without the kids in tow. This is mommy’s retail therapy. I’d probably grab something we need anyway, but if I happen to find a great item in the clearance aisle, or even a full-price impulse item, it is OK! We have “extra fun money” built into our budget for this very reason!
3. I know that finding and clipping coupons is worth my time! And money saving apps are worth downloading! We use an excel spread sheet to keep track of our finances. On one of the tabs of our budget, I have a spreadsheet where I type in the date, store, and coupon savings amount. That way I can add up and see that my time finding, printing, and clipping coupons is really worth my time. I use Wegmans Digital coupons. I will print $0.75/1 coupons from coupons.com (because Wegmans doubles coupons making them $1.50 off!) I’m very close to getting another $25 gift card by using the money saving app called Drop. Fetch is another great money saving app because I get cashback on Amazon purchases from that one! Here is another great resource to check out if you want to use more coupons: 50 Major Brands that will send you coupons for FREE!
4. Our Dishwasher Broke – But I’m Not Panicking!! We have an emergency fund, so that if a big ticket item (like an unexpected car repair bill or a kitchen appliance breaks) we don’t stress about it and end up going into debt to fix or replace that item. I might stress in the meantime for having to hand-wash dishes until the new appliance shows up – but I’d rather be inconvenienced this way rather than by going into debt!
5. My husband and I don’t fight about money!! I think the best part of the freedom that I get from having a budget is the freedom to NOT fight with my husband about money! We may disagree when it comes to setting up the budget and how much money should be allotted to each category – but once we get over that hurdle and we both make compromises, the rest is relatively easy! But it is also critical that you and your financial partner AGREE and STICK TO the budget. We need to be able to trust our spouses in every area of our life – finances included!
Now I don’t want to come off as being the perfect person when it comes to money – I’m not. I realize that there are more difficult financial hardships that people go through that these tips do not address. What I am hoping to do is give you some encouragement to get started when it comes to budgeting. It’s really not as awful as you think it is, and really has relieved a HUGE amount of stress in my life!
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