I’ve got news! Life is hard and busy. Surprised? No you’re not. If you’re an adult (and even if you’re not, probably), you already understand that things aren’t easy for people. Making a life for yourself means earning money, navigating complex relationship matters, and creating and re-creating plans off the top of your head as you go along. Money plays into all of these matters prominently.
For people with families, personal goals, and challenging careers, it can be incredibly difficult to make the most of their money. This takes careful budgeting. Budgeting is all about taking a close look at your money – where it’s coming from, where it is, where it goes, where it should be in the future. Without budgeting, it’s impossible to make the most of your dollar. But it’s hard to find the time. Here are a few reasons why budgeting is essential.
Plato was the first to say that the unexamined life is not worth living. The ol’ Plate-ster was talking more about deep work of introspection, but the idea can just as easily apply to our money. Most of us don’t like to think too much about money. It can make us feel a little dirty – obsessed with material things.
But the reality is, without paying close attention to the money we make, we’ll lose it faster than we should. This will just serve to put us in a position where we need to make MORE money. Clearly, budgeting is the way to do the most with the least amount of money. It’s virtuous, it makes sense, it’s time to do it folks.
Budgeting reveals financial matters that would otherwise go unnoticed. In many situations, people are making payments they don’t realize are leaving their bank accounts. There are many examples of such problems. For some people it’s subscriptions that they’ve long forgotten about. We live in the era of easy subscriptions, and we’re not just talking about magazines anymore.
Today, you can subscribe to just about anything you imagine, through mega-retailers like Amazon.
Many other people subscribe to entertainment websites like HBO Now or Hulu, only to forget they had ever signed up for the service. Without using the sites for their intended purposes, these automatically drafted monthly payments are just going down the toilet. A budget will require you to check your checking accounts, and you’ll notice that ongoing gym membership or subscription that you don’t actually use.
For other folks, the situation is different. PPI is an example of a monthly payment that was sneaked onto a bunch of individuals’ bank accounts through sketchy contracts associated with financial loans. People signed up for PPI without knowing what it was, or that they were agreeing to pay for it. Some only noticed that they were paying for it months or years later.
Today, there are many ongoing lawsuits to recover lost funds. While you may or may not have PPI, it is simply a reminder that there are many payments you may be missing out on, simply because you haven’t examined your financial life. You can’t afford not to!