That’s the word you were all thinking of right?? It’s a word that strikes fear in many and generates eye rolls and apathy from most of the others. However, I’m here to tell you that you can make it simple and once you’ve gotten the hang of it, it can become almost a pleasant experience to keep it updated and manage it.
I originally started with a very complicated workbook in excel that required entry for each check I would receive, every bill and the date of the month it was due, which bills would be paid out of which check……..to say it became a chore to keep up with would be an understatement! I have come to believe that the harder you make the maintenance of your budget, the less likely you are to continue to maintain it. Now there are some spreadsheet nerds out there, myself included, that may like the amount of data this system can supply, but it quickly became clear to me that it wasn’t necessary to accomplish the original goal of budgeting which is to know where every dollar you earn is going before you receive it. Now I use a very simplified version of this original excel template with has every month on one tab listing total income by month and all of the anticipated bills by month so I can easily track cash flow in and out.
What truly are the benefits of budgeting? Once you have a home for every dollar you never put yourself in a situation where you end up with too much month left and not enough dollars. I now know every month if I can afford that dinner out or new pair of sneakers based upon the bills I still have outstanding to pay. Additionally, I have no unexpected bills like car insurance every 6 months where it can be easy to forget you will have that bill coming because it’s not one you see every month. I personally enjoy knowing how much I can save out of every check and getting to invest it immediately. Budgeting has become an easy part of my regular routine and dare I say it……..something I have even come to enjoy??!!
Share some of your own budgeting stories in the comments.