Your budget is a gym for your money
It’s common to think of a budget as a set of restrictions that keep you from doing what you want with your money. However, the structure of a budget simply gives your money direction.
Here are just a few things your budget can do for you:
- Inspire you to manage your debt responsibly, which may increase your credit score saving you money in the future
- Help you save money for a down payment on a home or reach another big financial goal
- Make saving for emergencies easier, so the next time you have an unexpected expense, you can handle it on your own
Financial fitness helps you in many areas of life. If you live with a tight budget or feel like your financial life isn’t under your control, start slow. It’s not much different from adopting a new workout routine. If you want great results, you must make a plan and be patient with yourself while you get used to a new way of doing things.
Make a financial plan
Your financial plan will help you see the future that your money can provide if you stick to your budget.
Most people don’t go to the gym because they love cardio. They go because they want to experience the advantages provided by regular exercise.
So, make your financial plan with your goals in mind. Think about the big picture and decide where you’d like to be in five or ten years. If debt is a big concern, tackle that first. If you want to start investing, study your options and start setting aside money.
Here are three things you can do today to achieve better financial fitness:
1. Identify your current financial state, including your debts and your total take-home income.
2. Think about what you want your money to do for you.
3. If you don’t have a budget, make a quick accounting of your income and bills on paper, or download this helpful budgeting worksheet.
If you already have a budget, review it and make changes to help you reach your financial goals.
Financial fitness, like physical fitness, takes time and effort. Give yourself time to reach your goals. If budgeting is new to you, or if you have yet to experience success with a budget, remember to be patient. Your dedication will pay off.
Learning to manage a budget becomes a fairly simple task with a bit of practice. Take a look at The Basics of Budgeting to get started.