For most households the monthly budget works something like this; every month money comes in and every month all the money goes out. Is this how it works around your house? Do you know where all your money goes? Unless you have control of where your money goes and how it works for you your future financial well being is on shaky ground.
If this is you then you seriously need to think about creating a household budget because your money needs a plan to follow. Just about everything you do in life revolves around a plan of some sort. Most jobs require some sort of plan it you want to be efficient and profitable. Successful businesses follow not only a business plan but they also have a budget which allows them to be productive and profitable. Look at it this way, if you ran the finances of a business the same way you run your household finances how long would your business last?
If you don’t like the word budget because it sounds too restrictive then consider creating a cash-flow plan. Whatever you wish to call it your money needs a plan to follow, unless of course you like living paycheck to paycheck.
Do you have financial goals? Are you doing anything to reach them? Are there things you would like to do but don’t really have any idea how you can do them because you don’t have the money? Here’s an idea. Write down what your goals are, where you would like to be financially in 5 years, 10 years, when you retire. Now off the top of your head think about what is standing in the way of your goals. Chances are you’re not completely clear as to what monetary obstacles stand in your way. You might have an idea but the picture is not clear.
A monthly household budget will paint a clear picture as to where you currently stand as far as your finances are concerned. You will see exactly where your money is going and this allows you to come up with a plan to take back control of your money.
Once you see where your money is going you can take the necessary steps to start working towards your financial goals. Do you have too much credit card debt? How about eating out 5 nights a week? Does that $400 plus car payment on a depreciating asset really help you meet your goals? These are just some of the question you’ll start to ask when all your monthly expenses are laid out in front of you.
The first time you write out your monthly household budget, or cash-flow plan, it probably won’t be real pretty. The important thing is you have taken the first step to taking back control of how your money works for you. Once you do that you can start building a strong financial future.