The term “budget” is overused considerably by the masses who act as though they have their money allotted in all the right places when in actuality they’re making one financial mistake after another.
Case in point, ask yourself not so much if you have a budget but if you actually track your spending and stick to what you have on paper. Remember, your budget is only as good as your tracking method and often certain line items get left off your list because they’re not main points of payment like your car and house.
That daily cup of coffee or the movies you rent on cable through your DVR box once a week for Saturday date night don’t fall under an entertainment or food piece of budgeting that goes unnoticed, when in actuality they add up considerably.
Your spending also tends to become more difficult when you ironically can’t spend at all. A budget needs to be looked at as though you actually have the ability to spend money, and if that means cutting back on other expenses, then so be it.
If you need to build in a budget item that allows you to buy shirt once per month or a DVD, that shouldn’t be off the table. You have to be able to enjoy your income and so if cutting cable television or lowering your phone payment is the alternative to being able to take a vacation or go to the movies, that’s the give and take that budgeting has to take.
Budgeting also means you have to have your savings account in mind or putting aside that nest egg that we all need when we move toward retirement. Again, it goes back to looking at the entire scope of your income versus your expenses, and getting rid of the latter in spots where you can turn spending into saving.
And far too many people look at budgeting as something they have to do, not a beneficial tool to save money the way it is intended to take place. Budgeting needs to take on the perspective of a means to secure your financial future, to still enjoy life and live comfortably within your means, rather than depravation and deciding between what you can and can’t have.
Budgeting is about what you need to survive and what is expendable, and not so much living in the moment but realizing one day after the next is a balance between how to save money and spend the right way.