UNITED STATES—Budget, we all hate hearing that word, but for so many Americans we need to hear it more and more because it forces us to acknowledge, what we are spending are money on and if the items that we purchase are actually worth it in the long run. Sometimes you have to really look at your expenses and see where costs can be cut or what you can do to save a bit more money. It is not an easy feat and for many Americans, they don’t like the idea of being placed on a budget or having to cut costs when they’re used to buying what they want, when they want without any consequence or frustration along the way. Most Americans don’t always get that opportunity. They get stuck having to deal with weighing the pros and cons of a purchase and rather the right choice has been made.

So many of us are what we call impulse buyers. We just buy because we feel a need to buy or we feel guilty by not purchasing when we are out and about with others. The good thing is you have that receipt and you can always return that item if you choose to. You do not need to keep it, but why buy something if you didn’t want it to begin with? You made an unnecessary purchase and now you have to drive back to that retailer to return the item. There is nothing fun about that America, and trust me I know I’m not the only person who feels this way.

However when you notice you had a ton of money one week and then the following week you’re asking where all that money went, it should click in your mind that you are spending far more than you need to and it’s time to eliminate or reduce costs any way that you feel feasible for your schedule and the finances that you have at your fingertips. I always say it’s best to know what your expenses are first each month. Once you have that in place you know what you NEED to have to cover your overheard.

After your expenses are taken care of, you know what you’re bringing in and what you have left over. What you have left over after all your expenses have been taken care of, the opportunity rises for you to decide rather to save or rather you choose to spend that excess funds on something you want or for the family or for a rainy day. A vast majority of us choose to spend those funds instead of saving and it’s not a bad thing if you choose to do that, but you cannot cry wolf about it either. It’s a CHOICE. Remember that it’s a CHOICE, you are NOT being forced to do it. It is a decision that you’ve made so once made you have to live with it.

Look at a budget as a way for you to understand your money and what you do with it. I think the biggest thing having a budget in place when it comes to finances is the fact that it teaches us rather we are spenders or savers. Do I believe a person can be both? Yes, but you’re always leaning one way more than others rather you want to believe it or not.

Written By Zoe Mitchell