There are thousands of books out there on personal finance.
Alongside trying to maintain a social life, be healthy, go gym 5 times a week, build a career, save for the future, live in the moment AND not have a mental breakdown about the state of the planet…
How on earth are we going to read ALL of those books?!
Newsflash hunnies, we aren’t.
BUT no need to worry.
I have read a few of them, and it is clear that there are 3 top rules to follow to keep you out of debt and on top of your finances:
- Spend less than what you earn
- Work with the money that you have got
- Be prepared for the unexpected
I am sure you are thinking “okay sounds simple… but how do I follow these rules?”
The answer is simple:
Let me tell you how budgeting affects and supports all 3 rules:
Spend less than what you earn
How can you know how to ‘spend less than what you earn’, if you don’t have a clue what you are spending and what you are earning?!
To be able to live within your means, you need to actually know what is coming in and what is going out.
And that quite literally that IS the essence of a budget.
A budget is there to assess your finances, track your spending and ensure that the money you have coming in is a more than the money you have going out…
Work with the money that you have got
When you know your income & your left-over money from the month before ~if you have any~, and you know your bills & your other expenses, you can do a simple calculation to work out what you have leftover (your disposable income).
The leftover money is the money you have got, and you have to make it work for you.
There is no way around it.
You cannot magic money out of thin air (but if you do ever figure this out, please get in touch. Thanks).
If you want more disposable income or need more money to hit your financial goals, of course you can go about trying to increase the money that is coming in. e.g. asking for a payrise/getting a new job/getting a side hustle etc. but even if you are successful in doing so, yes you will effectively have more money but the same rule still applies, it just applies to a higher amount.
Because no matter what the amount of money you are working with; if you DON’T make what you DO got work for you, then quite simply, you will end up borrowing from a credit card, loan, overdraft or friend.
Be prepared for the unexpected.
To prepare for the ‘unexpected’, you need to have funds readily available to use.
The unexpected could be a broken washing machine. It could also be an opportunity to go on an amazing holiday. Either way, it is any large, unexpected purchase.
This means you need an emergency fund or to have cash-money in your savings account.
Setting a monthly budget allows you to factor in money to your savings and separate money into a emergency fund, to help prepare and pay for those completely unexpected situations.
So, as you can see, budgeting supports the 3 main pillars of personal finance to keep you out debt and on top of your finances.
If you have been thinking about creating a budget but have chucked around the excuses:
“I can’t be bothered”
“I don’t understand how to”
“It takes too much time”
“It is too complicated”
Hopefully this shows to you that budgeting is SO worth the time learning how to budget and so worth sticking to the budget itself.
It is worth every second you spend researching and creating.
Because creating a budget is free and staying out of debt is absolutely priceless.