Reasons Why You Should Budget Your Money

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Making a budget is the most important thing you can do to manage your money, but many people are reluctant to take this beneficial step. You may associate budgeting with restrictions and a lot of hassle and headaches. Or you may feel like you do not make enough money to warrant a budget. However, budgeting is essential because it can help you save money instead and eliminate overspending, and also enable you to make the most of every dollar.

In this article, discover seven reasons to budget your money that may help you look at the process in a new light.

Budgeting Stops Overspending

Spending money without thinking carefully about where it all goes can easily lead you to overspend on a monthly basis. Overspending limits your spending power in the future, as more and more of your income has to be applied to debt payments.

If you are worried about restricting your spending, consider what it would feel like to have the majority of your paycheck applied to credit card payments. The stress of finding a way to pay for your everyday needs can be astronomical when most of your paycheck is already spoken for.

By using a budget to take a hard look at your income compared to your expenses, you will be better able to determine when to stop spending.

Note

There are many ways to budget, and one method may work better for one person, while another works best for someone else. A budgeting app can make the process easier. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) also offers a tool to see where your money is going each month.

Helps You Reach Your Goals

With a budget, you can move to focus your money on the things that are most important to you. Some goals to work toward may be getting out of debt, saving up for a home, or working on starting your own business. Your budget creates a plan and lets you track it to make sure you are reaching your goals.

One method financial experts recommend using when trying to reach a financial goal is the 50/30/20 budgeting rule. Through this strategy, you allocate your budget according to three categories: needs, wants, and financial goals. This way, you will be setting aside money in your budget each month for your goals, typically in a savings account.

Makes It Easier To Save

People who do not have a budget tend to save less money than people who do, according to America Saves, a campaign managed by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America. That's because when you budget, you assign your money to do certain things.

You can have money automatically transferred into a savings or investment account each month. This way, you'll be less likely to dip into your savings each month. As you do those things, you can begin to build wealth and give yourself true financial freedom.

Makes More Room for the "Fun" Stuff

When you're budgeting, you get to decide how much you spend in each category. So if you want to put a significant portion of your money toward leisure activities, you shouldn't feel bad about that, as long as you are still saving and meeting your other needs.

Budgeting is not about limiting the fun in your life; it's about opening up opportunities to have more fun. And helping you worry less about the financial safety your future.

Note

By categorizing your budget, you will be able to see where everything is going and have less reason to be anxious about paying for future expenses. Basic monthly budget worksheets are a good place to start.

Allows You To Be Flexible

Budgeting can be flexible, in that you can move money between categories as you need to throughout the month. Generally, you should restrict yourself from touching the money you have set aside for savings, but you can adjust the amount you spend on each other category as you go.

It's another way that you can keep yourself from overspending. It also allows you to recognize issues within your spending habits and then adjust so you do not end up spending more than your means. Budgeting apps and software are great for beginners, as they can automate categories for you and then move things around based on your preferences.

Puts You in Control

Budgeting can help you gain a feeling of control over your money. It allows you to prioritize your spending, track how you are doing, and realize when you need to make changes. A budget puts a solid plan into place that is easy to follow and gives you the chance to plan and prepare for the future.

It is the biggest tool you have to change your financial future, and it gives you the power to make changes starting today. 

Note

Once you make your budget, it is important to consistently check on it in order to maintain control and prevent overspending. Making decisions at the beginning of the month makes it easier to manage your money.


Can Be Simple

You can simplify the budgeting process by using percentages of your income for set expenses, savings, and spending money. Then you simply track the money as you utilize it.

Keep at it: The first few months of budgeting are a bit more difficult as you adjust your categories to find the amounts that work for your situation. If you have a roommate, friend, or partner who is also interested in getting a handle on their finances, consider making a budget together. This way, you can hold each other accountable, making the process easier and more fun.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a budget?

A budget is a plan that helps you prioritize your spending. It tracks how much income you have each month, and then assigns a portion of that income to a category, such as housing payments, groceries, or savings. By planning for and tracking where your money will go, a budget prevents you from spending money you don't have.

Who needs to have a budget?

A budget is an important tool for everyone, no matter your income level. It can help anyone work toward financial goals, avoid bad debt, and save for the future.

When is a cash budget important?

An all-cash budget can help if you are prone to overspending. Using credit cards can allow you to spend money you don't have, which creates debt. If you only give yourself cash to use, though, you can't spend more money than you have available. This kind of budget pairs well with the envelope system.

Updated by
Jess Feldman
jess feldman in a white shirt
Jess Feldman has been writing and editing for over five years, and currently focuses on financial topics. As an associate editor on the special projects team, she writes, edits, and develops tentpole brand projects across a variety of platforms. Since joining the financial space, she's developed an interest in finding ways to make the complex topic of finance relatable to younger generations, specifically via TikTok. Jess has a journalism degree from the University of Maryland Philip Merrill College of Journalism.
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Sources
The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Use This Budget Tool To See How Much You Make and Spend Each Month."

  2. Discover. "How to Set Financial Goals—and Crush Them."

  3. America Saves. "54 Ways to Save Money."

  4. SoFi. "Building Flexibility Into a Budget."

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