What Life Looks like When You Budget

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Most of us, at one time or another, have fallen for the misconception that not being able to spend our money any way we want takes away our freedom and makes us feel trapped. It might seem like a prison sentence to many, not providing yourself with the happiness and excitement that comes with having new possessions. That couldn’t be any further from the truth. Here’s what life looks like when you budget your money.

How to Budget

While managing your money using a budget may keep you from buying that fun toy, you’ll be rewarding yourself with more financial freedoms down the road.

Budgeting is a tool that provides a set of directions and priorities that will help you reach your goals. You’ll be able to enjoy life more fully, not only in the future, but in the present as well. This is what life looks like when you budget your money responsibly. 

Budgeting Gives You a New Perspective

Living on a budget may give you a new perspective when you’ve been making financial decisions without one for a long time. This new way of thinking will change your life for the good, we promise you that.

You’ll be more aware of where you are wasting money and where you need to cut back. It may even give you motivation for saving that you haven’t had before.   

Budgeting Takes Away Stress

Stress can be so mentally and even physically draining when we give it power. Making unnecessary purchases on a regular basis is adding fuel to that fire without us even realizing it. Who couldn’t use a little less stress in their lives?

Sticking to a budget will keep you from wondering how you’ll be able to pay your bills on time. If you and your spouse often have arguments related to your finances, a budget might help put a stop to that. 

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Sitting down and creating a budget with your spouse or partner helps the two of you understand that you’re on the same team. You’re both striving towards similar goals and are wanting the best for your family. With these things in mind, the tone of your conversations about your finances should improve.      

You’ll Waste Less Money

Living on a budget will help your family waste much less money then you would if you continue living life without one. Think about traveling to a distant place you’ve never been to and heading out without a map or GPS.

Not only is that destination far away, but after a while, you’re wondering if you’re headed in the right direction. Without a budget you’ll be spending money aimlessly and never reaching your goals.   

So what do we mean by less wasted money? There’s a number of ways that people waste money without realizing it. Are you a big coffee drinker and stop by the Starbucks drive-thru window every morning you’re headed to work? That’s over $100 a month if you’re one of their favorite customers.

The same thing happens when you head out to eat. You’re going to be spending a whole lot more by eating out then you would if you stayed home and cooked a meal for your family. It might even be time to get rid of the cable bill and switch to Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime. 

You Learn How to Be Frugal

On a budget, you’ll learn how to be frugal with your money and make it stretch further. Take for example buying a car. Most people usually hold on to their vehicles for around 5 to 6 years.

From a budgeting perspective, buying a brand new car makes no sense when you can buy a beater for much less and get the same amount of life out of it.  

No More Debt

Yep, you heard that right! Say goodbye to debt when you plan to live on a budget.

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If you struggle with debt from past poor financial decisions, think how much freedom you would feel and how your life would change if you were debt-free. You’d be able to breathe a huge sigh of relief, feeling those invisible shackles fall off of you.

Life on a budget not only helps you say no to any more debt, but it also helps you get out of debt quicker. You have the ability to put more money towards your loans and extra principal payments towards your home mortgage because you’re not spending it on pointless things.    

Saving Becomes an Easier Habit

Living on a budget will not only help you spend less but also help you save more. This point is huge, especially for your future. Saving money becomes a lifestyle for families that stick with their budget because they’re not spending money on things that don’t matter.

Once all those bad spending habits are out of the picture, you’ll be surprised how quickly you begin saving money.    

Dreams are Obtainable

It’s great to have dreams and goals for your future. Everyone would like to be able to retire early, settle down in a nice house, and travel every once in a while. But you have to start moving in that direction using small steps at first.

Failing to save for your future will change those plans indefinitely and they’ll have to remain dreams. Keeping useless spending doors closed now will allow you to open an exponential amount of doors and opportunities in the future. 

Final Word

Living life when you’re on a budget is not perfect no matter who you are. If you’ve managed to achieve what seems like perfection in this area of your life, you might have turned into a cheapskate that eats ramen noodles every night.

You still need to live and enjoy the moment now, but make sure that you’re questioning yourself when you go to make a purchase.  This is what life looks like when you budget!

6 thoughts on “What Life Looks like When You Budget

  • January 20, 2020 at 10:05 am

    I would like to ask you or your readers how the heck I can get my 21 old son to do a budget with monthly savings for a car payment plus full coverage insurance? He just got told he needs a co-signer for an auto loan, which I maybe can’t do. I’d told him to set up a credit union account a year ago, rather than keeping only an account at Wells Fargo. I think I need magic words to get him to understand how credit works, and it’s not just a number! Yes, I think this has to do with budgeting! Um, I’m not a good co-signer as I own our home, own my 2 cars, have no credit cards…lol, I have no or little credit? And, no, I’m not going to pay for another car for him out of my tiny savings.

    • January 20, 2020 at 10:47 am

      Hi Wendy, as a former banker and mortgage company owner, I am dead set against co-signing on a loan. Period. Some people call it “we need to help”, I call it “tough love”. Please do not co-sign on a car. If he’s living at home he needs to get a job so HE qualifies to get the loan. I agree with you on the credit unions. They typically are LITTLE more lenient if you bank with them to borrow money for a car. He may have to use Uber to get to work or take public transportation. I’m not saying the car will go into default but here’s the deal, if it does, it will hurt your credit. I have neighbors I have had to say, “turn off the ATM” to their grown kids. It’s hard but we have to do it. Or it will never stop. Just my two cents. Linda

    • January 20, 2020 at 11:24 am

      Just keep saying no. I know it is difficult but it is the only way they will learn. If you so-sign this time, he might expect it the next time. If he can manage to save up enough for a decent down payment, he should be able to get credit. Or tell him to buy a beater and save what a car payment would be and when his beater dies, he will have a decent down payment.

  • January 22, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    Linda, I agree with you on not co-signing. My son has had his job for over 3 yrs plus a part-time one coaching. He does live at home but contributes to utilities without being asked. He pays for his car insurance (but under my policy) and has a Capitol one credit card (low amt able to be charged). He uses this for his gas money, pays it off before due date, trying to up his credit score. He does keep quite a bit in his checking acct for when he has a car repair. He has had a Sprint acct for over 2 yrs, paid always before due date. His credit score was 730 before he applied for credit for car: now it’s down to 695. Oh, the dealer found him loan ‘deals’ to buy a car but at 18%! He declined. I’m not sure how he can build credit except thru a cu. Most cu’s in MN look at deposits (especially savings)/payments in addition to credit score. As a former loan officer, do you know if it would help his standing if he had his own insurance policy? Lol, it’s not like when I got my first car loan from my bank who basically said they could do it as they ‘knew me’.

    • January 22, 2020 at 8:27 pm

      Hi Wendy, I would try another dealership, 695 is still a great score. The Sprint account wouldn’t be on his credit report at least I have never seen cell phone carrier on a credit bureau. He’s had a job for 3 years and a part-time job as well. The lenders will look at the first job to see if it is full time. I hope I can explain this. Two part-time jobs do not look as good as one full-time job. One thing that hurt credit is applying for credit cards to get 15% off your first purchase, etc. Make sure he doesn’t fall for those gimmicks. The lenders look at how many times credit has been pulled in the last 90 days. Keep in mind there are 3 credit bureaus. Each state has their preferred bureau. So he may see 730 as a score and then another bureau may show 695. The other issue is when the bureaus update their credit reports. Thank goodness he didn’t take that 18% that’s a ripoff with his credit. The insurance policy doesn’t really mean anything as far as credit goes. Tell him to keep trying. It makes me mad when someone tries to take advantage of a young man, that’s so wrong. Look for another loan officer. Good luck, Linda


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