How a Budget Can Help You Save Money

Written by , August 2, 2011

How a Budget Can Help You Save MoneySome of us are frugal by nature. Others go through money like they have holes in their pockets. But no matter which end of the spectrum you’re on (or if you’re somewhere in the middle), you can benefit from creating a household budget.

Budgeting is one of the best ways for anyone to save money. It gives them a realistic picture of their financial situation, and that’s the first step toward getting a handle on your money.

Here is some money saving advice and some of the specific benefits of having an accurate and detailed budget.

  • You know exactly how much money you have coming in. More and more of us have multiple sources of income these days, yet some only bother keeping track of the main one. For example, you might have a full-time job and sell stuff on eBay on the side, but you pay the bills with your paycheck and use the eBay money to go out on the weekends. But when you put all of your income down on paper, it becomes apparent that your “extra” money could possibly serve a better purpose.
  • It makes it easy to see where money is being wasted. Most of us don’t think twice about bringing home takeout for dinner a couple of times a week or buying small items here and there. But when you write out a budget, these unnecessary expenses tend to stick out like a sore thumb. And by the time you add up how much they cost you each month, it’s much harder to justify them.
  • It takes the entire household’s spending habits into account. When a couple or family doesn’t communicate adequately, it’s hard to keep the finances in order. But when you’re writing a budget, it’s necessary to include everyone’s income and expenditures. You could find out about wasteful spending that you wouldn’t have otherwise known about.
  • It helps you use your discretionary income more responsibly. Hopefully you have some money left after paying the bills and putting some into savings. It may be tempting to take it out and buy whatever tickles your fancy with it, but that’s not very productive. When you write out a budget and keep your goals in mind, it’s easier to see how quickly that money could help you achieve them.
  • It gives you the incentive to find creative ways to save money. If there’s not as much money available for a certain purpose as you’d like, you can make adjustments elsewhere. You could cut the grocery budget and use coupons to stretch your food dollars further. Or you could lower the clothing budget and make up for it by shopping secondhand stores. Then you can put the money you saved toward a different purpose.

Budgeting is a pretty simple task, yet it brings a lot of hidden money issues to light. By better understanding your finances, you can find ways to save money and use your resources more wisely.

If you struggle to manage your budget, you could always look into a managed account. The way it works is you’d have two accounts in one, really. One for your bills and essential outgoings and one for the money that’s just yours, to spend on what you like. This can really help you to budget, as your bill payments are accounted for so you can’t accidentally spend money you need for important things.

Tags: , , ,

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Digg
  • Delicious
  • Reddit
  • Stumble
  • Design Float
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace
Subscribe   Share/Bookmark