Thursday, May 2, 2013

Budget View Part 2- Budget isn't a naughty word and 7 reasons to have one

WHAT? You mean to tell me you don't have one of these growing in your backyard? 
Apparently my parents didn't either. I heard the phrase, "Money doesn't grow on trees kid" more times than I care to admit. 
So I decided things were going to be different when I grew up and had my own yard. 
I was going to find that elusive money tree and make sure I planted a grove of them......guess what? 
Things are not so much different now that I have a family and I am the grown up PLUS  I never found that dang tree. 

Instead I had to figure out how to make our financial situation work for my family. My husband would rather bring home the bacon and leave it to me to figure out how to fry it up in a pan. (I know people of a certain era are singing the Enjoli perfume commercial right now). So I have been designated the CFO of our family.

With that title comes a lot of I had to think of some good reasons to actually have and try to follow a budget to the best of my abilities.
When I really thought about them these were the seven I came up with: 

#1-Take Control-
I hate to admit it, but I would be lying if I didn't, I am a bit a control freak. When it comes to the control freak spectrum I am on the very low end of it and most of the time it is about things that are out of my control anyway.... BUT you can see how this "TAKE CONTROL" reason for a budget would be very enticing for a self-proclaimed control freak, right? 
Taking control of your budget means that your money no longer controls you! It puts you back in the drivers seat. If you happen to have a spending problem this will help you avoid overspending.

#2-Prepare for Emergencies 
Surprises & emergencies are inevitable in life. And in the financial realm emergencies usually equal finding a source for quick money. The source is either a credit card or a savings account. I like to call the latter an emergency fund. We all know where credit cards take us...usually right down the old highway to hell if we are not completely disciplined to pay the balance off at the end of each month. But having an emergency fund is like a little security blanket that keeps us all warm and fuzzy at night knowing it is there for the "just in case" moments. I will talk more about the emergency fund in a future post.

#3-Reduce Arguments
I have always made it a goal to try and never argue with the B'Dog about money. Have we had a 100% success rate with this goal? 
I will say this though, the arguments are few and far between and I give credit to the budgeting system we have in place. I have heard that money woes are the #1 reason marriages fail.....I wonder how many marriages could be saved if both parties sat down and developed a budget that worked for them?

#4-Get more shut eye
How many times have you or your partner lied awake at night worrying about money, resulting in lost hours of precious sleep, which Americans get to little of anyway? 
Lack of sleep leads to crabbiness, crabbiness leads to arguments and we all know where the arguments lead....sometimes if left unchecked they lead to D-I-V-O-R-C-E(if you are married that is). 
Using a budget will hopefully give you the peace of mind so you are not lying awake at night and wearing crabby pants in the morning.

#5-Help Save Money for Fun Stuff
I told you that budget should not be a naughty word. 
And following one should never prevent you from having fun.
Typically because we have a budget we become more conscious about how and what we spend our money on. Impulse shopping becomes a thing of the past, but if we slip up once in awhile, a budget lets us quickly see where we are overspending and we can correct it quickly.
This in turn leads to being able to afford all our needs and freeing up some extra cash to spend some money on our wants. It could be a family vacation you have always dreamed of, or a new golf club you have been eyeing up. How about the massage your back has been screaming at you to go get or the 2nd new motorcycle tire of the year that you want to purchase before the season comes to an end? 

#6-Work Less
I know some people that work 2-3 jobs just to make ends meet. I understand that this has become more commonplace in the past 5 or so years because of America's economy. But honestly in a lot of cases if we all would  just take some time and create a budget and do our best to follow it, we might not have to work so hard. Wouldn't you rather spend time with your friends & family, and have fun doing all the activities you love? 

#7- Give More
I know that sometimes we all feel like we should be someone else's charity case because we can't seem to find two nickles to rub together BUT consider this....I was once told that if you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head, and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the world. 
Now, I don't know how accurate that is, but if it is true, that means YOU and I, are richer than 5 BILLION people! 
I'll let you sit on this for a second...........
There are soooooo many opportunities to give. 
I will admit, I really need to work on this step too. 
I give, when I am presented with an opportunity to give, but sadly, it is rarely at the forefront of my mind.
If you are like me, then you want to know that every cent of your charitable contribution is going toward the cause and not the President of a non profit organization or a corrupt foreign government. I make sure if I am giving to organizations that I do a little homework on them to find out how the money is allocated.
There are many people who can benefit from our generosity in our own community.......families affected by cancer that cannot pay their electric bill this month, a Dad that just lost his job and now the family has to resort to the food shelf this month to feed the kids, a young  Mom loses her husband in a tragic accident and struggles to get through her daily grief much less make their children dinner that night.
I have had loved ones benefit greatly from wonderful, giving people and it meant the world to them and helped them through a very difficult time. 

My challenge for all of us this week is to find a cause that tugs at our own heart strings. Make a donation, And don't tell anyone what you did. Let that warm feeling of giving be enough applause. We don't always need a pat on the back for the good things we do. 
Just remember $1, $5, or $100...Every.Little.Bit.Helps. 

I hope one of the reasons I listed above strikes a cord with one of you who is on the fence about creating your own budget. Or try to find your own reasons to budget for you and your family. Once you find the freedom it gives, you will wonder why you waited so long.

Enjoy the View~

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