The Budget – The Ultimate Financial Management Tool

A carpenter uses a set of house plans to build a house. If he didn’t the bathroom might get overlooked altogether. Similar could be said of Rocket Scientists, who would never begin construction on a new booster rocket without a detailed set of design specifications. Yet most of us go blindly out into the world without an inkling of an idea about finances and without any plan at all.

Be smart – make a budget

A money plan is called a budget and it is crucial if we want to reach our financial goals. Without a plan we will drift without direction and end up marooned on a distant financial reef.

If you have a spouse or a significant other, then you should make this budget together. Sit down and figure out what your joint financial goals are. You should discuss both your long-term and short-term goals.

Then plan your route to get to those goals. Every journey begins with one step and the first step to succeeding is to make a realistic budget that both of you can live with. Work out how much you’re going to put aside for food, transport and other daily expenses.

Make it realistic

A budget should never be a financial starvation diet. That won’t work for the long haul. Make reasonable allocations for food, clothing, shelter, utilities and insurance and set aside a reasonable amount for entertainment and the occasional luxury item.

You should try new ways of cooking and try to ensure that you’re only watching free television shows, instead of paying out for subscriptions. Savings should always come before any spending.

Even a small amount saved will help you reach your long term and short term financial goals. Here’s a free budgeting tool that will help you along the way. Fill it in, print it out and work on it with your spouse or significant other. Both of you will need to be happy with the final result and feel like it’s something you can stick to. Because a budget you can’t stick to isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

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