I’m not gonna lie, budgeting sucks. Especially if you’re a “free spirit” like me. You don’t let people tell you what to do, so you’re certainly not going to let a piece of paper with some numbers on it boss you around! Until that is, you accidentally overdraw your bank account. Or, you coast into the gas station on fumes only to discover you don’t have enough money to fill up your gas tank! Yep, sooner or later, the day will come when you discover the real reasons behind why you need a budget.
When that day comes, I hope you’ll refer back to this post so I can say, “See, I told you so!” (Just kidding)!
5 (Not so) Surprising Reasons Why You Need A Budget
For the longest time, I fought the dreaded “B” word. I hated the idea of being restricted to spending $200 on groceries (and having to put stuff back when I went over). I also disliked having to say “no” to my husband and kids whenever something they wanted didn’t fit within the budget.
So, I embraced my freedom and spent money whenever I liked. Until…
More and more, there was too much month left at the end of our money. Increasingly, my husband and I began to argue about where all the money was going. The thought of money (particularly the lack of) started keeping me awake at night.
I knew something had to give. So, I tentatively decided to give budgeting a try. Here’s what I learned.
#1: Living on a budget stops you from overdrafting your accounts
I don’t know why banks won’t just let you spend money that isn’t in your account. I mean, really, who do they think they are?
Did you know, the average cost of an overdraft is $35? What’s worse, most overdraft fees are a result of purchases totaling $24 or less! I don’t know about you, but I think I’d rather the bank just deny the purchase rather than putting it through and charging me $35 for the privilege. But…I digress.
However, if you have a budget in place (and are sticking to it) you already know how much money you have available to spend. You see? A budget can stop those nasty banks from trying to take your hard-earned money away from you.
#2: Living on a budget prevents you from buying stuff you don’t need
How many times have you walked into a store intending to purchase one item and ended up walking out of the store with a carload?
Good news! Living on a budget will keep you from making impulse purchases which you will regret later on. When you have a budget, you are forced to stop and think about each and every purchase you make and question how that purchase fits into your spending plan. If it doesn’t, you can leave it in the store…where it belongs.
*Tip: If you want to save money on the things you do need to buy (without having to use coupons), give Ibotta a try! It’s free to sign up and Ibotta will even give you an extra $10 if you sign up using this link! (Be sure to use this code: brjekqd)
#3: Living on a budget puts you in charge of your money (Instead of the other way around)
Remember when I said I don’t like other people bossing me around? Well, if you’re living without a budget, that’s exactly what you are doing! Without a budget, Abe, Andrew, and Benjamin are in charge. They’ll come and go as they see fit without a second thought to your future savings goals.
Dave Ramsey says to give every dollar a name. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather name my dollars ‘Debt-Free’, ‘Early Retirement’ and Financial Security’ instead of ‘Regret’, ‘Guilt’, and ‘Financial Bondage’!
Can I get an “amen”?
My Favorite Budgeting Resources:
#4: Living on a budget helps you get along better with your significant other
Here’s a not-so-fun fact: 35% of couples argue about money on a regular basis. And don’t even get me started on the rise of financial infidelity! According to a recent poll, 1 in 5 Americans who are in a relationship think it’s fine to spend $500 or more without telling their significant other. Of the respondents, 6% actually have secret bank accounts and credit cards.
I can’t even begin to stress how important it is for couples to openly and honestly communicate when it comes to all things money-related. I spent far too long in my own marriage excluding my husband from the budgeting process. Doing so only ended up creating confusion, resentment, and anger between us.
These days, even though we don’t always see eye-to-eye, we not only have a budget, we also regularly connect with each other in order to discuss our family’s budget.
#5: Living on a budget relieves stress
I don’t particularly care for stress. Who does? More importantly, I NEED at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night or I am a bear the following day. These two things (stress/lack of sleep) ended up being the final straw when it came to my aversion to embracing a budget.
Now, I won’t say that my money-related stress has completely disappeared, but it has significantly decreased since I began putting a plan for our money on paper.
I hope you’ve realized you need a budget…because it’s the ultimate way to rock at ‘adulting’!
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