Creating a budget makes good sense. Not only can you keep track of what’s coming in, but you can keep track of what’s going out. Studies have shown that as few as two in ten Americans keep track of their monthly spending. That leaves eight out of ten people wondering at the end of the month just where their money has gone. With the ease of creating a budget on the web, there’s no excuse not to sit down and create one. In fact, there are five very good reasons to sit down in front of your computer, fire it up and create your family’s budget today.
Creating a family budget is a great way to teach your children about money. Not only do you want to raise socially responsible children, but you also want to create adults who can manage their money well. Think of it like this: by creating a budget and allowing your children to help you track it, you’ll lessen the chance of your 35-year-old son living in your basement.
Sticking to a budget virtually forces us to be organized. For those of you who are organizationally challenged, the first week or so will be difficult. Once you’ve gotten over the hump, however, keeping your budget will become second-nature. You may even find that keeping track of your budget inspires you to organize other parts of your life.
When you create a budget, you are actually forced to think about money beyond handing over $3 for an over-priced coffee. By making a budget, you become conscious of exactly what you’re making and just what you are spending; not to mention what you are spending it on. Once you’ve begun to actually think about your money, you’ll quickly find that you make better decisions about how it’s spent.
The next logical step in thinking about your money is cutting back on your spending. When you are smacked in the face with the frivolous ways that you spend your money, you’ll undoubtedly begin to voluntarily give up certain things. The money you save can be placed into a college savings account for your child, an emergency fund or even into a retirement savings account.
Not sold yet? Check this out: if you turn your $3 a day at the local coffee shop into a single-cup brewer for home to make your own coffee, you’ll save about $2.50 a day. In a month’s time, you’ll have saved over $60. Over a year, you’ll have saved over $700.
That sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
If you’re paying the minimum balance on your credit cards, you’ll pay far more in interest than you ever charge. By creating a budget and cutting back on your spending, you can dedicate more money to those credit card bills that have been piling up. Not only will you pay your cards off more quickly but you’ll spend less doing so.
The web makes it very easy to create a family budget and you no longer have any excuses for not doing it. Gather your paycheck stubs, put your bills into a pile and turn on the computer. Creating a budget today will help you save money tomorrow.
Guest writer Jessica Stevens is a financial consultant and content contributor for wisebread.com, a site offering reviews on the top travel credit cards and great money tips for living large on a small budget.