What is Budgeting? What is a Budget?
Budgeting is the process of creating a plan to spend your money. This spending plan is called a budget. Creating this spending plan allows you to determine in advance whether you will have enough money to do the things you need to do or would like to do.
Budgeting is simply balancing your expenses with your income. If they don't balance and you spend
more than you make, you will have a problem. Many people don't realize that they spend more
than they earn and slowly sink deeper into debt every year.
If you don't have enough money to do everything you would like to do, then you can use this planning process to prioritize your spending and focus your money on the things that are most important to you.
Why is Budgeting so Important?
What about Budget Forecasting and Planning?
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Once you create your first budget, begin to use it and get a good feel for how it can keep your finances on track, you may want to map out your spending plan or budget for 6 months to a year down the road. By doing this you can easily forecast which months your finances may be tight and which ones you'll have extra money. You can then look for ways to even out the highs and lows in your finances so that things can be more manageable and pleasant.
Extending your budget out into the future also allows you to forecast how much money you will be able to save for important things like your vacation, a new vehicle, your first home or home renovations, an emergency savings account or your retirement. Using a realistic budget to forecast your spending for the year can really help you with your long term financial planning. You can then make realistic assumptions about your annual income and expense and plan for long term financial goals like starting your own business, buying an investment or recreation property or retiring.