Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Why is it important to have a budget?

from Martha Stewart

      There are hundreds of reasons to have a budget.  Not to mention the ones in your bank account!  You have earned every single cent in that account and it BELONGS to you.  (YAY!) They're all yours.  And you have the ability to make them work FOR YOU or you can work FOR THEM.  (them being your money.)
     Now first a little about some of those budgeting reasons:

  • Having a budget gives you a clear picture as to how much money you have.
  • When the month/week/year is over you can see just how much money you spent in that amount of time and whether you're in the red or in the black. (Did you know that most retail companies are in the RED all year long?  Not until BLACK Friday do they begin to be on the positive side for the entire year!!)
  • Having control of where your money is going is empowering.
  • People that are in debt are twice as likely to be overweight. Story Here.
     That last one is enough for me to forever stay away from any unnecessary debt!  To make money your slave there are some really great books out there.  My favorites are The Richest Man in Babylon and anything by Dave Ramsey.  I'd love to know what your favorites are.  (Because we all have them!)  
     Making your money work for you.  There are lots of ways to do this.  For me the best way is to take the money I have and make it stretch as far as I can.  Other ways might be investing, saving for something special/important or simply being able to do anything YOU WANT with YOUR MONEY.  Ways you can know when it isn't working for you:
  • When payday comes and you're already broke.
  • When you feel like a slave to your job.
   If this happens you need to do something about it.  I am no expert, nor do I profess to be.  If you have questions about your financial situation, talk with a professional.  

    Because I love lists (it's kind of a compulsion) I need to have my budget at my fingertips.  The other day I was talking budget with my neighbor and he asked if I use Quicken or Excel for my budgeting.  I told him just paper, and he looked so confused, (he is an accountant, so I'll forgive him).  :O)  But it's true, I'm a paper kind of gal.  I know some people LOVE to use programs that allow you to scan receipts and everything is online or on your computer, and I sort of wish I could find something like this that works for me, but so far, I'm starting about 70 years behind the times.  Has anyone tried any of these online systems and loves them??  

    I'm going to be devoting the next little while to all things budget related, so pull out your papers and pencils and get ready to bring order to all the craziness!

Please comment:  I'm really interested to know what other people use to budget, and what your favorite financial books are!  

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