Why Making a Budget is Like Giving Yourself a Raise

Those of us who work from home – whether we’re freelancers, small business owners, moms or all three –can’t afford to waste any of our hard-earned dollars. We may think that we’re doing all we can to keep more of our money, but if we haven’t created a budget for ourselves, we’re most likely wasting money. But making a budget doesn’t have to be as tedious or self-sacrificing as you may think. Most women, who decide to take control of their finances with a budget, discover that they have more money and financial flexibility than ever before.

First off, let’s tackle the myth that having a budget means no more fun. Nothing could be further from the truth. How fun is it to get an overdue bill notice? Or to have to pay an extra fee just because you didn’t have enough cash in your account? It’s not fun at all. But if you had a budget and were smart about keeping enough money available, you’d never have to worry about that. And instead of paying those fees, you’d have extra cash. Now that’s fun!

How to get started

The first thing to do when you commit to creating a budget for yourself is to stop using your credit cards for purchases. I know they’re convenient, but when you think about what you pay in interest charges, it’s just not worth it. Instead, go back to basics and start writing checks for your purchases, doing this will make you more mindful of spending money. You can order checks online too, and save money over what the bank will charge you.

The next thing to remember is to find out where your money is actually going. Keep a notebook with you and write down where you spend your money. The key is to keep track of everything. You may be surprised at all of the things you buy without even thinking about them.

Once you’ve gotten a handle on where you spend your money, it’s time to commit to only making purchases for things that you need. It’s amazing how many things we buy that we never use. What if we’d kept the money and put it to better use? If you currently have any debt, the best thing you can do with your money is to pay it off. Consumer debt is the biggest waster of your money that there is.

By paying down your debt, you are making an investment in your future. Eventually, all of the money that you’re paying to the banks and credit card companies will be going into your pocket instead. So, if you don’t already have them, order checks to make all of your payments with. It will be money in your wallet and more that you can use for some real fun.

Finally, it’s time to realize that your financial future is in your hands alone. If you are serious about having more money, then you have to change the way you think about spending. Make a commitment to only buy what you need, pay down your existing debt and eliminate your credit card use. When you realize how much more money you have after making these changes, it won’t seem like sacrifice at all – in fact you’ll find yourself having fun!

 

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AUTHOR BIO:   Author Kim Moore is a full-time work-at-home freelance writer, editor and mother.  She writes widely on business, personal finance and marketing as well as health and wellness.  She saves money by tracking her expenses and being her own beauty parlor!

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