What’s the first thing that comes to mind when mention “budgeting?”
For most, that word is negative. It reminds the masses that budgeting is directly related to not having what you want, scraping along to just “get by” because you’ve limited yourself to what you can spend, based on a variety of factors led by income and expenses.
The income factor is quite paramount, but what is someone supposed to do when they’re trying to save money when they don’t make a whole lot, and that aforementioned budget doesn’t stretch very far.
In that situation, budgeting does take on quite the negative connotation, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The first and most natural reaction is to cut spending and expenses, being that feeling of depriving yourself is going to stand out more so than anything else. Cutting expenses is the easiest path realistically but it comes at the expense of peace of mind, furthering the thought that you’re only working to pay bills, and you’ll never have the funds to actually have fun.
Granted, if saving money is a priority and you don’t have a huge income, having fun might need to go on the back burner, but there may be other ways save money first.
You might want to take the time and start price matching or shopping around for better rates on anything from electricity to car insurance. That also includes online and print coupons, something maybe you didn’t take the time to do previously because you felt it wouldn’t make much difference. The fact remains is that price matching works, and coupons are all the rage if you actually sit down and dedicate yourself to getting the process down pat.
And if you’re not always trying to find a cheaper car insurance quote or a homeowners policy, then you’re accepting the potential that the status quo is quite expensive versus making the most of businesses that are fighting for yours.
If you’re someone who has a little bit of money saved, you might want to look at your credit and debt specifically. Sometimes if you pay off a credit card completely, you’ll save hundreds per year on interest and yet still have a little money left in your savings account. If you don’t have an emergency fund, that should take precedence over spending and your budgeting prowess should reflect that in terms of making sure you pay yourself, and then pay your bills. The paying yourself part is just another way to save money, but makes some feel as though they’re actually a priority in the process.
No matter how much you make, there’s always room to live within your means and save money, with the focus being on the former: spending what you have based on income, and nothing more.