When it comes to your financial planning one of your most effective tools may be the one that you are most intimidated by - A budget. But a budget is just the tool you need to keep you out of financial trouble. It is not surprising to hear persons saying that they have no idea where their money is going and I am sure that you may be saying the same - "I do not know where my money goes?"
And this expression is the direct result of not having a budget. You see a budget although considered by many to be a frustrating inconvenience, is really a tool that if properly used will free you from most of your money worries.
As a budget is simple your plan of how you would like to use your money - it let you control your money instead of your money controlling you. And it is not as restrictive as you may think as it is a living document that guides you in the direction of your financial goals.
I know what you are saying - financial goals? Yes, you need goals because without goals you will not have the most important element of your budget - an emotional reason for budgeting! The "why" of why you are doing what you are doing.
Your goals and dreams provides this "why" and your budget is simply the tool that allows you to set up the guidelines for not only reaching them but measuring your progress along the way. And also keeping you on track - your sign post to your financial destination and the life you really want.
Unfortunately, it is quit easy for you to miss this connection between your goals and budgeting and why you may have been looking at your budget as an inconvenience. But if you are going to save yourself from financial stress you need a budget. So do you have specific financial objectives and an easily implemented budget that is guiding you towards those goals? If you do not then you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
You must never forget that your money is one of the most valuable and limited resources you have. And it is your responsibility to focus your money on your goals because of another limited resource you have - Time! Anything thing less is wasteful.
You see the cost of your undisciplined spending is your financial future as every dollar you spent has the potential for jeopardizing rather than enhancing your future. And the best way to control your spending is with a budget!