The word “budgeting” conjures up images of joylessness and deprivation. Although most people are resistant to budgeting, it’s critical if you want to beef up your savings and have money set aside for emergencies, retirement, and large purchases. You have to think of budgeting as a pleasant necessity in order to turn your attitude around and start saving.
Some smart savers think about budgeting in terms of how it can actually improve their lives. For example, saving money may mean learning new and interesting trades. Some men entrust their girlfriends and wives with hair clippers, saving on monthly haircuts. You may consider bartering with friends. Some savers learn how to change their own oil, while still others take it a step further and get rid of one or more cars altogether.
While the little things add up, it’s the big things – like cars – that really need to be factored into your budgeting plan. Gas, maintenance, and insurance really add up. Budgeting means cutting back on some conveniences, and it may mean becoming a one-car or no-car family.
Part of your budgeting process means that your housing has to be considered. Are you living in an expensive home in the best school district? Studies show that your child can still get a comparable education in the “next best” school district in a less expensive nearby town. Budgeting is about deciding what’s important, and the stress of a pricey home in a pricey area may not be worth it.
By looking at budgeting as an obligation to your future and your financial health, you’ll be able to cut back in some not-so-painful ways.