As a finance enthusiast, even I can admit: budgeting isn’t really a ‘fun’ word. It’s kind of like 'vegetables.' Just seeing the word can make us feel insecure about our life choices. It immediately reminds us of something we should be doing better, yet ironically, leaves us feeling discouraged - not inspired - to change.
But there’s good news! We don’t have to run away from the topic hoping it leaves us alone already. Because here’s the thing: budgeting isn’t out to get you! That’s right. You don’t have to budget, period. And you’ll be just fine. I’m sure of it.
So I’m not here to tell you what you should do or make you feel bad if you don’t. Instead, let’s take an honest look at the biggest benefits of budgeting, and then you can decide for yourself if you might actually want to budget. Genuinely.
It’s important that we go into this conversation from that perspective - where budgeting is an opportunity we can consider for ourselves - not a ‘should’ that we’re labeled as failures if we don’t do. Shaming yourself for what you do or don’t do will never ever lead to legitimate empowerment anyways. So don’t should yourself. Okay? :)
Assuming we’re on the same page there, I have to tell you: there are so many reasons that make budgeting well worth it, both for our finances and for our quality of life as a whole. And not only that, but the more we get used to budgeting, the better we get at it. And the better we get at it, the more budgeting actually becomes … *gulp* … enjoyable.
There. I said it. I like budgeting.
Now that the cat is out of the bag, let's talk about what I mean by 'budgeting.'
Budgeting is a discipline, a tool, a system, a software, a lifestyle, an accounting for the past, a preparation for the future - and obviously, something different for everyone. Most basically, budgeting means keeping track of what we’re doing with our money right now, starting today. No catch-up needed. Here are a few perks that every budgeter benefits from:
I could probably keep going, but hopefully you’re starting to see the big picture here! :) If you’re still needing some ‘umph’ to bring it all home, give this a listen.
It’s no shock or spoiler alert that I’m envisioned for budgeting, and for personal finance as a whole. But even considering all of these reasons why budgeting matters, there still remains a few unfortunate realities. First off, budgeting takes time. Not a ton of time, but time nonetheless. Secondly, budgeting takes effort. Brain space is required. (And if it doesn’t require intentional thought, it’s probably not real budgeting!) Finally, and worst of all, there is always a good reason not to budget - four that are particularly compelling.
If you’re willing to jump over these initial hurdles and give budgeting a fresh try, you can set yours up here. Or if you want to get a few more handrails first, read about how to get started budgeting.
All that being said, I have to ask: are you thinking about starting a budget? Or do you already keep a budget? If so, what’s the most motivating reason for you?
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