For so long, I knew saving money was the key to financial success. However, time and time again, I neglected to budget.
I figured that as long as I set aside money for my retirement account and contributed to my savings, I really didn't need to budget. I was dead wrong!
When it comes to saving money, budgeting is the key to success. There is no way around it. After I discovered the magic of budgeting, I was able to reduce debt, take control of my spending and begin to reach my personal finance goals.
A good budget works as a blueprint for your money. It helps you understand the purpose of each and every dollar that comes into your possession. Without a budget, you have no way of knowing where your money is going month after month.
Why you need to budget
I often hear people say, "I don't have any money, so why should I budget?" But if you struggle to make ends meet, it is even more important to budget. Otherwise, one bad move will put you in a financial bind, which can only make matters worse.
Does Jay-Z need to monitor grocery expenses? Not so much. But I am certain that if you are reading this, you do.
Admittedly, it is not much fun to keep track of how much you spent on dining last week, or how much you blew on that night out with friends. But if you plan and stick to a budget, you will be amazed at the amount of money you can save.
If you don't enjoy budgeting, keep it simple. Make a budget at the beginning of the month and post it where you can see it daily.
At the very least, this can serve as a reminder of how much you have available for expenses. It can also encourage you to save more money.
Kemberley Washington is a CPA and professor at Dillard University. Visit her blog at Kemberley.com. Follow her on Twitter @KemWashCPA.