When you hear the word BUDGET do you break out into cold sweats? Not having a budget can lead to various financial dangers and challenges. Do you feel like you can handle your money without a plan in place? Are you confident in your ability to save and spend without planning where your money will go?
Here are five common dangers that people may face when they don’t have a budget:
1. Overspending and Debt
Most of us weren’t taught how to handle money or create a budget. Many people just spend money and pray that they have enough to cover their expenses and their discretionary wants. But, without a budget to track and control expenses, you aren’t sure how much you have left to spend from not tracking. It is so easy to buy something because you think you have enough money. Then, oops, you forget that you had a phone bill that comes out of your account the next day and then you have the electricity bill due. This type of behavior can lead to accumulating credit card debt or taking out loans to cover everyday expenses, resulting in a cycle of debt that becomes difficult to break.
2. Lack of Savings and Emergency Funds
Without a budget, it’s challenging to set aside money for savings or create an emergency fund. A budget helps you to see where your money is going and where you want your money to go. You take the time to see how much discretionary income you actually have instead of guessing how much you have to save. This lack of financial cushion can leave you unprepared to handle unexpected expenses, such as medical emergencies, car repairs, or job loss, leading to financial stress and potential long-term consequences. Are you unsure how to even start out on making a budget? Check out my free FinanciALLI Focused Foundations Course for help.
3. Inability to Reach Financial Goals
The word budget seems to strike fear into some people but think of it as your roadmap to achieve your financial goals such as buying a home, paying off debts, or saving for retirement. Without having a budget to help you, your direction and discipline may waver and make it difficult for you to make progress towards your goals. Don’t get caught up in your numbers being worse than you thought they were or nervous about what they are, just think of it as gathering data to achieve your financial goals.
4. Poor Financial Decision-Making
A budget helps you make informed financial decisions by providing you a clear picture of your income and expenses. Without a budget to guide you, you may make impulsive choices, overspend, or miss opportunities to invest wisely, leading to a less secure financial future. When you go into your job, you go in prepared. A budget is going into your financial job prepared. It allows you to know what decisions you can say yes to and what you might want to spend on another day.
5. Financial Stress and Anxiety
When you don’t know how much money you have or where it is going, it is going to cause you some stress and uncertainty about your finances. Without a clear understanding of your financial situation, you may constantly worry about your money matters, which may affect your overall well-being and relationships. It can cause you to have to ask family and friends for money which we all know rarely ends well. Take the time to create a budget and see how much financial stress you save yourself. Making the budget may be stressful but when you are finished, it is a burden taken off of your shoulders. Now, you have a plan and can stick to it but also adjust it as you need to fit your lifestyle.
When you think about a budget, think about it as a financial tool. Like using a lawnmower to cut grass. You can’t stand in the yard and hope your grass gets cut. You have to do it. Same thing with your money. You can’t hope it does what you want. You need a tool, a budget to make your plan and get your finances settled. By not having a budget, you expose yourself to potential financial dangers, including overspending, debt accumulation, lack of savings, poor decision-making, and increased financial stress.
Implementing a budget, no matter how simple or detailed, can significantly improve your financial situation and lead to a more stable and prosperous future. If you are ready to start a budget but need a little more guidance or unsure how to start, join my coaching program, Flourish FinanciALLI. I would love to help you create a realistic budget you can actually stick to (without deprivation!)