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Don't Underestimate the Importance of a Budget

Outside of major purchases like buying a house or car and student loans, people get into debt because they for one reason or another spent outside of their budget. You may have had to make an unexpected, yet very costly, trip to the vet for your fur baby. Or, your car broke down and you needed to get it fixed right away so you make it to work every day. Maybe you went on a spending spree a little more than you could afford. This is where a good budget comes in handy.

If you sit down at the beginning of the month and plan all of the bills you have to pay, the amount you're left with is your spending budget for the month. Knowing that you have $500 to spend on anything your heart desires for the next 4 weeks will make an impact on your spending even without you making actual changes to your spending.

Last month you did not budget, but today starts a new month. It is information you have today, that you didn't have yesterday. You may not be actively working on cutting down your spending, but knowing your budget will begin to make you question how important something is to buy today. Can you wait until next month to buy that dress? Do you absolutely need that second latte of the day from the coffee shop around the corner from your office?

Your budget is a guide that shows you the boundaries of your spending and will allow you to make mindful spending decisions. It's never too late to start, try working on a budget today and see how it goes!

Photo by InvestmentZen via Flickr
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