This information is brought to you by

Gail Schoeneberg

RE/MAX Integrity

Why You Should Have a Monthly Budget

Many people reach the end of the month and wonder where their money went. Unplanned and unnecessary purchases can make it difficult to finance long-term goals and may even cause you to struggle to cover necessary expenses today. Creating and sticking to a budget can help you focus on your priorities and meet your goals.

Find out Where Your Money Is Going
By creating a budget, you can see where you’re spending money. It’s easy to make several small, seemingly insignificant purchases and then wind up without enough left over for essentials like housing and car payments. Accounting for each dollar will help you figure out if you’re spending more than you realize on things that aren’t really important.

Work Toward Your Goals
If you know that you’ll need money for an important purchase or retirement, or if you want to build up an emergency fund, budgeting can make it easier. A long-term goal can seem more achievable if you look at your budget and identify small changes that you can make on a regular basis that’ll add up to substantial savings over time. By paying close attention to how much you spend each month, you’ll know if you’re in danger of falling short and will be able to find areas where you can make adjustments to stay on track.

If you want to take out a loan to buy a car or a mortgage for a house, you’ll need to figure out what you can comfortably afford. Knowing how much you spend for other things each month can allow you to see how much you have left over to cover new debt. You’ll then be able to decide if you need to make changes so a loan will be more manageable.

Encourage Family Members to Work Together
People approach the issue of money in a variety of ways. If you and your loved ones have different priorities and approaches to spending and don’t communicate, it can be difficult or impossible to achieve your goals. Creating a family budget can help you avoid conflicts and misunderstandings.

Focus on Financial Security
Budgeting is especially important if you have a limited income or if you’re trying to achieve a long-term goal. Creating a budget can provide you with helpful insight into your spending habits, but that information will only be beneficial if you use it to make sound decisions. Figure out what your priorities are, take a careful look at where your money is going each month, and figure out what changes you can make so that more of your money will go toward things that are truly important. Discuss your goals and plans with family members so you are all on the same page.