First, a budget is a plan for your money. Having a plan for your money eliminates all the guesswork of wondering where your money went. And a budget is necessary at all times. Whether you have sufficient income to cover your bills or not is irrelevant.
The purpose of a budget is to guide the spending of your money.
In my experience, when you have less money to work with, you need the budget the most. You cannot afford to make any mistakes of overspending. Each dollar earned is that much more valuable when you have limited funds.
The reality is it takes a lot of effort and sacrifice to work your way out of a financial hole. The process is slow and emotionally taxing, but it can be done. It has been done by millions of people. Always focus on your ultimate goal. The rewards of achieving financial freedom are priceless, not only to you, but to your family.
As you make the transition from making less money to acquiring more, you have to be mindful of mindless spending.
What do I mean by that?
Usually, when you’ve been struggling for so long, you crave and dream of the moment you will be able to pay your bills, get out of debt, and have some money in the bank, and make those trips to the mall. All of that can be quickly achieved if you have a windfall or win the lottery – and the money will be gone before you know it!
Getting additional money is a blessing only if you manage the funds wisely. If you maintain the same bad habits that got you into a bad situation, it doesn’t matter how much money you accumulate. You will always be in a downward financial spiral. It is very easy to get back in the “lack” bracket if you mismanage the funds.
The excitement of knowing you are out of the hole doesn’t mean you have to go on a shopping spree. Yes it’s okay to reward yourself a little, but it has to be part of the budget and planned ahead of time.
Practicing good money management techniques will save you from financial disasters in the future. A budget is only as effective as the person following it. Yet it can be modified to accommodate all the changing factors of your life.