Budgets Don’t Mean You’re Poor

budg·et

[buhj-it]

–noun

1.  an estimate, often itemized, of expected income and expense for a given period in the future.
2.  a plan of operations based on such an estimate.
3.  an itemized allotment of funds, time, etc., for a given period.
4.  the total sum of money set aside or needed for a purpose: the construction budget.
There it is, straight from dictionary.com.  We tend to think of them as negative because no one likes to be on one.  No one likes to be confined by one.  But no matter what your income, you should have one. Nothing about those definitions say your poor.  Better yet, they say you are thinking ahead when it comes to money.

Let’s take out the negative connotation and let’s concentrate on how all these things are good things.  Being on a budget:

  • Keeps you from over spending
  • Allows you to save
  • Gets you out of debt

There are certainly different ways to do a budget.  Some people do the money in envelopes, some have it all penciled out and keep track of the different categories.  Others just make sure that one category has enough money for the upcoming expenses, by taking out money from another category another month.

None of those have worked for me.  Here is how I budget.  I write down all the bills I have every month.  Some of those expenses change (utilities), but others stay the same(house payment), so the only work I have to do on my budget every month is making sure my numbers are correct for the month.

Once I have all my bills listed I know how much money I need every month to pay those bills.  The rest?  That’s to spend and spend wisely.  Some months I need extra for certain sports, so no need to keep my activities budget high all the time.  Entertainment is a luxury and if it has to go, then it has to go.  If you have been around my blog much you know that Food comes first.   With my budget, once it’s gone, it’s gone.  No putting extras on credit cards, no pulling out of savings.

Why would someone be on such a tight budget?

  • Some people have limited income and keep to a super strict budget
  • Some people have great dreams of early retirement and save a lot
  • Some people like to have a really big emergency fund
  • Some people are saving for college for themselves or their kids

Whatever the reason for a tight budget, it can be done, and it most certainly doesn’t mean you are poor.  What kinds of things do you budget for?

Linked to Works for Me Wednesday

Comments

  1. I personally don’t like the word budget. I have always had trouble setting up and sticking to a budget. We call ours our spending plan. That somehow takes away the negative connotations and helps me remember why I am doing this, so my money goes where I really want it to.

    Right now we are planning our spending for our adoption! We have spent years saving and months tweaking, belt tightening and looking for ways to make it happen. Hopefully soon we will have another little one in our home. I can’t wait!

  2. Spending plan…much better I agree, since that is what it is. What an incredible thing to save your money for. I hope you have a little one really soon!!

Trackbacks

  1. […] You might be making bank and not need to cut corners, but living month to month on a big paycheck is a big mistake. Even you need to be on a Budget. […]

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