We have talked about 8 steps to creating a family budget, but is a budget really necessary? Sure, having a budget in place may help you manage your money smartly, but at the same time; it just might not be for you. Sometimes creating a budget will be the easy part, but actually sticking to that budget might be the struggle. Here are a few questions to ask before you start a budget.
Sometimes, even with the best of intention, and even after creating what seems like the ideal budget; it just doesn’t work out. This could be for any number of reasons and if you fall into this category- don’t think of yourself as failing. You tried and that certainly should count for something.
Maybe in the future, you could try again or maybe you’ve just learned from this experience- a budget just isn’t for you. And that’s perfectly fine.
Budgeting isn’t for everyone.
But how would it benefit you or your family to have a budget?
A budget is really just a way to take control of your finances. It does not necessarily mean you can’t ever spend your money on what you want; it just means you spend your money smarter. In fact, if you are always denying yourself and never buying anything you want for fear you can’t afford it, a budget could be liberating.
Dealing with real numbers tends to be a lot less stressful than dealing with vague impressions of your income and expenses.
5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start a Budget
Are you constantly struggling to pay off your credit cards?
If you are only making the minimum payment on your credit card(s) or if you’re using a credit card to pay off another one, this is a financial pitfall.
Is your money burning a hole in your pocket?
If your money is on a “here today, gone tomorrow” type of basis, you may have too many unnecessary expenses or you might be spending money that you could be saving. While it may be the case that you live paycheck to paycheck because you need to, examine this area of your spending habits closely.
Do you regularly pay yourself by putting money aside in a savings account?
Even if it’s only $25 a week, that can add up quickly:
4 weeks = $100 saved. 52 weeks = $1300. 260 weeks (5 years) = $6500. 520 weeks (10 years) = $13,000
Your budget just isn’t about where you can save on expenses, but it’s also about what you can save regularly.
Ask yourself if you can really afford it
If you have to second guess whether or not you can afford something or if you’re having to justify a purchase, then you could be budgeting to save for it. Part of your budget can include saving towards something big instead of making an impulse buy and realizing later that you didn’t need it.
You think you have enough but somehow, the money just disappears
Having a budget can help you get a realistic view of how much money you really have on a month to month or even a week to week basis depending on how you set it up.
So is a budget really necessary? Yes and no. That all depends on what you or what your family needs. A budget isn’t always necessary but it can be useful when you stick with a reasonable budget.