A lot of people think that living on a budget means having to do without. In fact, having a budget does just the opposite. It allows you to afford the things that are most important to you.
Have a decent job and no problems paying your bills? A budget can still benefit you tremendously. Living on a specific amount of money doesn’t have to be debilitating. It often just means getting your priorities straight and setting goals.
That’s right your priorities. Want to travel? Work it into your budget. Want to save up for a new car or another luxury purchase? Work it into your budget. A lot of people would rather invest in their future, and that is ok too. Having a budget can help you cut out unnecessary spending so that you can put it towards something you will enjoy more.
Maybe you have thought about making a budget, but the idea just seems overwhelming. Even coming to terms with what you are spending your money on can be stressful at first. I personally don’t like the idea of looking at my bank account and seeing how much money I have ‘wasted” each month. Did I really spend $200 last month on LuLaRoe leggings?!?!?!
The thing is we all have our vices and even more so we certainly deserve to indulge in them from time to time. If you take a few minutes each week or even each month to look over your finances you can spot these areas where you are spending needlessly. From here you can decide if you want to take the action to change your budget for these items or continue as is.
A good example is stopping for coffee on the daily. If you stop and buy Starbucks every day you are probably spending anywhere from $3-$7 per drink. This can add up to around $60- $140 a month. Not really a big deal if you are doing well for yourself and have the money to spend, but would you rather be using that extra money each month for something you enjoy more, or even saving for your future?
Evaluate each action and decide if there is something that you would be happy with that costs less ie: making your own coffee daily. If you are fine making the change then do it. This will allow you to appropriate the funds elsewhere. If it is something that you thoroughly enjoy then you don’t have to cut it out.
Being on a budget doesn’t mean less social time with friends either. There are plenty of ways to go and end up spending less. Hit up your local happy hour or just drink less. If everyone is having dinner grab an app and a glass of wine instead.
I enjoy social time with friends but end up kicking myself for being irresponsible once the bill arrives. It sucks to look back on things you did because you feel obligated only to wish you hadn’t wasted your money. Now I just make small changes in my habits and know how much I can spend before I go.
Just because you decide to live on a budget doesn’t mean that your life is over. Your new and improved life can begin with increased wealth. Once you start to see how much extra money you have and prioritize where to put it you won’t feel like you are missing out on anything.
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