Budgeting is the best way to win with money
One of the seven money habits I often talk about is simply ďMake a Plan for Your Money.Ē Itís so basic, but so many people donít do it on a regular basis. Another way of saying this ó and hang with me here ó is you need to make a budget. I know what youíre thinking. Budgeting is so boring! I get that. But, honestly, budgeting gets a bad rap.
Iím as much of a free spirit as anyone, so I understand that the thought of sitting down and talking about bills and expenses might sound a little dull. I also understand how a budget might seem very restrictive. But hereís a secret about budgeting: creating a budget will actually give you freedom with your money. It gives you permission to spend.Itís one of the amazing principles about money I discuss in my book, Love Your Life Not Theirs.
When you know where every dollar is going, youíre prepared. You know whatís coming in and whatís going out.
When most people start budgeting, they feel like they got a raise. They suddenly ďfindĒ money they didnít realise was there. One great result of this is youíll be able to start spending without guilt. All your money is accounted for, so you donít have to worry whether or not your bank account will cover your purchase.
No matter what youíve heard, I promise that making a budget isnít difficult. First, simply list your monthly household income before the month begins. Next, list all your monthly expenses. This should include all your bills, like rent, utilities, basic clothing needs and food, as well as your groceries, eating out, shopping Ö everything. Finally, subtract all your expenses from your income. If youíve assigned every dollar a name, you should have zero. This is a simple zero-based budget.
When youíre making your budget, I recommend using a free app called EveryDollar. Itís the best budgeting app out there. It will help you create a plan for your money, while making it easy to stay on top of your budget throughout the month.
Donít get discouraged if you mess up a few times. You might need three or four months to get your budget the way you want it. But once you have a plan in place, youíll be amazed at how much more in control you feel about your money. Youíll experience more freedom, less anxiety, and a better all-around understanding of your financial situation.
Hereís my challenge to you: If youíre not living on a monthly budget, give it a try. I bet youíll see a big difference, and youíll never go back to a budget-less life again!
ē As a No 1 New York Times bestselling author, host of The Rachel Cruze Show, and The Rachel Cruze Show podcast, Rachel helps people learn the proper ways to handle money and stay out of debt. Sheís authored three bestselling books, including Love Your Life, Not Theirs and Smart Money Smart Kids, which she co-wrote with her father, Dave Ramsey. You can follow Cruze on Twitter and Instagram at @RachelCruze and online at www.rachelcruze.com, youtube.com/rachelcruze or facebook.com/rachelramseycruze.
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