Hey everyone, thanks again for coming for our Monday Money of the week! List week, we talked about financial stability and great ways to improve yours. Today, I’m going to spin off of that a bit and talk about budgets. The bottom line is, any financially stable household has a budget…right? Surprisingly enough, I read an article that said as many as 40% of households don’t keep an active budget! What? That’s absolutely crazy! So, today, I’m going to talk a bit about budgets, the advantages to keeping your budget on a spreadsheet and, I’ll give you some resources that should help along the way. Let’s do it…
General Reasons You Should Have An Accurate Budget
Never Pay Another Late Payment Penalty – I have to admit, about 3 years ago, I was one of those 40% or so of people that didn’t live by a budget. Then again, I made good money and, didn’t have very much to show for it. One place a lot of my extra money was going was late payment fees on at least 2 or 3 bills a month. We all have monthly bills. It seems like none of our bills are due on the same day and, the truth is, it’s hard to remember due dates for everything that you pay each and every month. However, if you maintain an accurate budget, you don’t have to worry about late fees because your budget will tell you when your bills are due!
Learn More About Your Debts – I thought I knew everything about my debts until I actually took the time to jot down everything I owed. It took a little while but, I scrounged up every bill in the house and made a list of all of my debts including important factors like balance payment and minimum payment. I thought I had about $2,000 less debt than I actually did…ouch! But, the good news is, seeing where I was gave me the extra push I needed to start getting aggressive with paying my debts off and, it worked! I’m closer to debt freedom today than before, that’s for sure!
Get On The Fast Track To Savings Goals – By creating an effective budget, you will be sure to have an upper hand when it comes to savings. Without a budget, at the end of each pay period, I would be praying for that next pay check to come in a day early…of course that never happened! But, once I created my budget spreadsheet, I was able to clearly see what I could do to start putting more money away. For me, it was pretty clear…Budget my excess monthly funds for fun and savings instead of blowing it all on fast food, Applebee’s and the occasional drink. It might just be that simple for you too.
Advantages Of Keeping Your Budget On A Spreadsheet
I’ve also read a few articles that are still telling you to write your budget out. Now, that’s just the stone ages! Our computers can do so much for us when it comes to budgeting. Here are just a few of the many advantages of keeping your budget on a spreadsheet.
Easily Prioritize Your Debts – Obviously, not all debts should be treated with the same priority as others. In any case, the highest interest rate debt should be paid first. By making a budget spreadsheet that includes the interest rate, you can let the computer do the sorting for you. Most spreadsheets allow you to easily sort columns and cells.
Make Changes Without Making A New Sheet – In the old days of budgeting, every time something changed, we would have to write out an entirely new budgeting sheet. Not anymore! With a budget spreadsheet it’s very easy to actively make changes as your finances change.
Turn Your Debt And Savings Goals Into A Game – I’ll admit, it took me a little while to really start enjoying maintaining my budget. The way I got over the instant boredom that would come as a result of me working on my budget is, I turned it into a game. Now I earn points when I reach my goals and even more when I exceed them. When I miss my goals, points are deducted. The points can mean anything to you but, for me, I just enjoy the competitive nature of the game.