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When most people hear the word budget they automatically view it in a negative light. For many, this concept of living with “boundaries” will prevent them from having fun or living life on their terms.

 Here is a short list of reasons people tend to avoid doing a budget:
• They won’t be able to buy clothes
• They can’t go out to eat
• They won’t be able to go on vacation
• Shopping just for fun won’t be a possibility
• They can’t spontaneously meet friends for movies or to hang out for coffee
• It will restrict their life and nothing will be fun anymore

 I am pleased to say those beliefs and this list are WRONG!

  “A budget, in its most simple form, is a way to tell your money where it should go.”

Often times, we wonder at the end of the month where on earth our money went. A budget will change that problem and will firmly state where you would like each paycheck and each dollar to go.

A recent study by U.S. Bank showed that 41% of Americans use and stick to a budget. Although that is better than what I expected, it is less than half of the country. This is a low number and is why so many have no emergency fund, no retirement and swipe the credit card for everything they want.

The great news about budgeting is this…

“When you create a budget, you are allowed to put anything you want in that plan!

It is entirely up to you.  So, if you want to go to the movies with friends, you can put that item in your budget! If you like to vacation every summer then you can add a trip. This plan belongs to YOU so all decisions will come from your own creativity.

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Let’s start with the basics.

 What is a budget?

A budget is a written plan that tells you what to do with your money as it arrives in your bank account.

Without this written plan, your money will disappear and you will constantly be short for even basic needs.

You might be asking, “Do I need a budget?”

The quick answer is yes! I believe everyone does. Whether you have tons of money or none at all you need to tell your money where to go each month. With a written plan you have the best chance of keeping as much of your money as possible.

 Why do you need a budget?

Here are the top FIVE reasons YOU need to create a budget:

First, you need a budget because EVERYONE wants your money! Dillard’s, Barnes and Noble, Walmart, Starbucks and hundreds of other places will gladly take your money even if you don’t have any to spare.

Second, if you don’t have a plan before money shows up in your account, once your direct deposit appears it will mysteriously begin to disappear.

Third, a budget will magically make it feel like you received a raise! It is unbelievable how much money is actually there when you become focused on money consistently.

Fourth, creating a plan will help you pay off debts faster. There is no reason for school loans, car notes and credit card payments to be around for 5 or 10 years! Those can be paid down very quickly with a written plan. Read here about how we paid off $65,000 in just 17 months with a budget!

Fifth, a budget will allow you to buy just about whatever you want! Yes! I did say you can buy things on a budget. The great thing about budgeting is YOU get to put whatever you want into your plan.

 Comment below if you have been through the process of living by a budget.  Let others know how it has worked for you and how you are winning with money!