I hear a lot of people talking about budgets as if they’re a handcuff, a restriction or a drag. For the last few years, we’ve kept a budget and learned some things non-budgeters wouldn’t know. Let me share with you some reasons keeping a budget is awesome:

A budget gives you freedom.

Keeping a budget has allowed us to pay off debt, pay for two cars in cash, and go on vacations, all without worrying whether we’ll have enough money to pay the bills. When a new video game comes out that my husband has his eye on, we have the money for it because it’s been put in the budget.

A budget can strengthen your marriage.

Every month, my husband and I sit down and talk about the budget for that month. It gives us a few minutes to communicate and be on the same page. Agreeing on financial goals ahead of time avoids many arguments. We’ve never had a situation where he buys a truck or video game system without my knowledge. Marriages have ended when the spouses weren’t on the same page financially.

A budget can help you think long-term.

Think of the awesome things you could do if you cut out the frivolous items that mean nothing to you. Would you go on a trip? Would you buy a new pair of shoes? Would you save money for your kids’ college?

A budget puts you in control.

Keeping a budget every month keeps you in control of your money and allows you to direct extra dollars to something that matters most to you. No longer do you find yourself at the end of the month wondering where all the money went. With a budget, you can look at your bank account balance of $400 and know that $375 still needs to go towards food and utilities.

A budget prioritizes your spending.

Simply put, a budget helps you spend your money on things or experiences that are most valuable to you. You may realize that you’re spending $100 on morning coffees. You might rather forgo those things and use the $100 to get a massage instead. You might not because your morning coffee is part of what makes you “you.” It’s your respite from a world of chaos. And that’s okay. Knowing what’s important to you can allow you to use your money on your priorities.

Moral of the Story

A budget doesn’t have to be a device that keeps you from doing the things you love. In fact, it can be a tool that helps you achieve your goals and live the life you’ve always dreamed of. It can help you take the money you earn every month and develop an organized plan for your dollars. You work hard for every penny, and you deserve to use that money in an intentional way that helps you grow and prosper.

So, tell me what your thoughts and/or hesitations are about keeping a budget. If you don’t keep a budget, why? What are some of the first thoughts that come to your head when you hear about budgeting?

If you do keep a budget, what have you learned through the process of keeping a budget?