7 Reasons Why You Need a Budget

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Having a budget is essential to having any kind of financial success over the course of your life. Whether you want to focus on saving money for emergencies, paying off debt, or planning for a large purchase like a down payment for a house, a budget is crucial for keeping your money organized so you know where it's all going and you’re moving forward.

Here are the top 7 reasons why you need a budget.

Why Is It Important to Have a Budget?

Budgets are important because they help you gain control of your spending habits and finances overall. If you want to save up for a car, budgeting is the number one thing that will get you there faster than anything else.

The budget process starts with making sure all of your income goes into some type of account or tool where it can be tracked and monitored closely to keep you on track on your spending plan throughout the month. Mint is a great app I have been using for years now.

A budget helps you plan your savings and paying off your debts. If you budget out what you can afford to pay on your debt each month, that will ensure that your average credit card debt never gets too high.

With budgeting, it's easy to see where money is going and how much is left over for saving or spending. If there isn't enough money in one category (like groceries), then more can be allocated.

It is difficult to get your finances in order if you do not have a budget to keep track of everything. Organized finances are vital to financial (and mental) health. It's easy to track what you're spending, where your money goes each month, and how much extra cash or debt there is leftover at the end of the month. A budget helps you see where excess funds should be allocated.

Reason 1: Helps You Set and Achieve Goals and Save Money

Setting and accomplishing long-term goals is an important part of the budgeting process. If you don't think you need a budget to help work towards your financial goals, you're wrong. 

Let me tell you why.

Without a budget, you are more likely to spend on things you don't need. These are things we are all guilty of buying foolishly (including me). Excessive clothing, eating out at work every weekday, and saying things like “I work hard, I deserve this” are all examples of things that do not help your financial health.

Having bad spending habits can really hurt your personal finance situation in the long run.

If you don't know exactly where your money is going each paycheck, how are you supposed to direct it to the right places? Simple answer: you won't and you will have less cash in your account every month.

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You really need budgeting if you want to accomplish your goals. It helps people make necessary spending sacrifices in the short term so they can have more satisfaction in the long run. 

Ask anyone with financial success, and I bet they will tell you delayed gratification has been important to their life and success. That’s why this is one of the most important reasons why you need a budget.

Reason 2: Prevents You From Spending Money You Don't Have

Because of credit cards, people are able to spend above and beyond their means every month. This means you can spend your money before you even make it… Not a good deal for you.

As of 2020, the average credit card debt per household was $6,194.

This is where good money management is key. By using a budget, you know exactly how much money you have at your disposal next paycheck, and it is unlikely you will land yourself in hot water with credit cards. Awareness is key.

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Shopping sprees may be fun at the moment, but then later you will realize you made a mistake and feel bad. 

You must look long-term and ask yourself if using your credit card to spend money and therefore racking up hundreds or even thousands of dollars in credit card debt is going to help or hinder your future financial goals. 

For many people, it's best to avoid credit cards as much as possible in order to save money. Using the cash you have at hand will reduce arguments about money spent foolishly.

A budget is a great way to plan for the future and ensure you're not spending more than your income will allow.

This might seem like an old-fashioned concept, especially when you realize we live in such a technologically advanced world that can process payments with just one click of a button. This can lead to overspending and cost you a lot. 

Keeping track of those payments and whether you're making too many impulse ones each month is also very important.

Reason 3: Stress-Free Retirement

Spending and saving responsibly is great when it comes to monthly finances. But remember, you're going to be old someday, and that day isn't very far away. You want to have money left in your account so you don’t have to worry about expecting the government or your kids to help you.

Whether you have an employer that gives you a 401(k) or an individual IRA, it's important to decide for yourself to prepare for retirement by setting aside a certain dollar amount each month. 

You may have to work with less money now while putting some toward retirement but it will be worth it in the end when you have a nice nest egg and not have to take a part-time job when you're 70 years old or relying on your family. This article reviewed Baby Boomers’ workforce participation. A lot of older people are working. You want to work at that age because you want to work, not because it is a necessity. 

Planning for your financial future is important because it ensures that you retire comfortably and can enjoy what the future holds for you. Making sure you have the retirement funds to rest easy in your older years is vital. Trust me your family will thank you for being ready.

Reason 4: Helps You Build an Emergency Fund

Sometimes unexpected emergencies pop up. Life is unpredictable. If you don’t have an emergency fund in your household you may find yourself overspending and taking on unnecessary debt. An emergency fund is one of those specific categories you should definitely have.

Making a budget really helps with this because you can specifically allocate money each month to an emergency fund. If you create a spending plan to go with your budget, you don't need to worry about not having enough to put in the emergency account.

You can set up an automatic transfer so that a specific amount of money is automatically withdrawn from your checking account so you don't even have to think about it.

Your emergency fund should have 3-6 months of living expenses in it at all times. This emergency fund is for unforeseeable emergency situations. It is not for something you “want.”

If you do not budget, emergencies can really put a strain on your financial life. You might have to take out loans or use credit cards in order to make ends meet which will only lead to larger problems later like debt and higher interest rates.

Reason 5: Makes Tax Season Easier

Starting a budget ASAP can also help you prepare for taxes. For example, if you know you'll owe money instead of receiving a refund, then you can begin to prepare for that.

You can also use a tax software tool alongside your budget to track purchases and receipts so that if you need a reference when it comes time to file, you'll have the software. I’ve been using Turbotax for years and find it very easy to use.

I've found it's sometimes easiest to snap a photo of the receipt and keep it on your phone for later use. 

It's also important for you to keep track of any donations that qualify for tax exemption or deduction.

A budget can help you keep track of which expenses will qualify and might even provide a list of qualifying charities for your tax exemption.

Budgeting can help you keep track of your budgeted expenses over time.

Trends in spending are easy to see with a budget, which makes it easier for you to plan ahead. You'll be able to tell if there's an area where you tend to go over budget so that you can plan accordingly in the months ahead.

Tracking spending is also important if you're looking to cut costs in certain areas to make room for more savings.

Mint is a great budgeting app that allows you to track your purchases and see if there are any categories that you are overspending in. 

Reason 7: It Helps You Save More Effectively and Not Spend Money

Budgeting can help you save more effectively because it allows you to allocate money specifically for savings and then eliminates the burden of having to find money on your own.

You'll be able to plan ahead, pay monthly bills that eat up a lot of your income every month and be able to put away some extra money every month.

With a budget, you have control over how much money you can afford to save every month. You can ready yourself for certain monthly expenses like car insurance, rent payments or phone bills. You can also add to your sinking funds, such as vacations, gifts, and other luxuries.

Conclusion

Having a good budget can be very beneficial for your financial situation. Take some time to research the different budgeting methods to determine which one is right for you and implement it into your daily life.

Budgeting can be intimidating at first, but after you begin, you will gain important knowledge on personal finance and how to track your expenses. You will become more financially responsible and have less financial stress. You will learn how to spend responsibly and will have more impulse control when you are tempted to spend money you don’t have.

Faq’s

Why are budgets hard to follow?

Budgets are hard to follow because budgeting isn't easy. It takes planning, discipline and motivation to budget successfully every month. You've also probably never done it before. Building worthwhile things is difficult, but it's worth it in the end to have the control and organization that will lead you to financial success.

Why is budgeting stressful?

Budgeting is stressful because it requires personal responsibility. You need to learn how to say no to impulse spending and using credit cards for everything.  It's tough to budget, but the benefits are worth it. Once you get the hang of it, the strain on your mental health and your wallet will greatly decrease.

Why do I need a budget?

You need a budget because it will change your life. The benefits of budgeting are endless, but you'll have greater peace of mind knowing you have control over your finances. Budgeting will help you save money for emergencies, travel, and the future. You'll also learn to budget your time to prevent wasting it. Budgeting is necessary to achieve financial security and success.

Can I be financially successful without a budget?

No, budgeting is a critical step in achieving success. Without budgeting, you won't have the proper tools to achieve your goals. It is almost impossible to organize your finances in an efficient way without a budget.

How hard is it to create a budget?

Creating a budget is not difficult, but it does take time and discipline to stick with it. There are quite a few different budgeting methods that you can try to see which ones work the best for you.

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As a certified credit counselor and syndicated writer at MaxMyMoney, Max has coached over 250 Millennials to help take the stress out of money. When Max is not coaching, you'll find him reading financial books, indoor cycling, or visiting local pawn shops looking for swiss-made watches.