Most people understand what budgeting is. It means money management. If you’re budgeting, it indicates that you’re planning what to do with the cash that you know you have coming in during a designated period.
Budgeting is critical if you’re going to do things like pay your bills on time, save for the future, and cover other financial obligations, like student or personal loans. Some people use tools like a loan consolidation calculator or a spreadsheet with their expenses on it to help them budget. Some have regular conversations with the other adults in the family about the best way to pool and spend the cash they’re bringing into the household.
There are some signs that you’re getting good at budgeting, and we’ll talk about them right now. If you notice these signs, it’s an indication that you’re on the right track when it comes to handling your money.
Paying bills on time, every time is a sure sign that you’re good at budgeting. Budgeting involves planning, which means you know how much money you’re going to have and when you will have it.
If your job pays you the same amount with every paycheck, that can be helpful as you’re planning when you’re going to pay your bills. If your bills are the same amount every time, that makes this process easier as well.
To make these outcomes more likely, it’s helpful to write on a calendar when bills are due, or you can set reminders on your phone. If you have a job that does not pay you the same amount every pay cycle, you can practice setting money aside that you can use to pay your bills when they’re due. If you’re self-employed, for instance, when and how much you get paid may not be as predictable.
Having savings is another indication that you’re good at budgeting. Many individuals and families don’t have any savings, or they have very little. If you have a savings account, and there is money in it that you can use for emergencies, you’re already in a better financial position than a significant portion of the population.
Experts recommend that you have a savings goal. You should try to have savings that equal at least three months with no money coming in. If you lose your job or something else unexpected happens, you can use the cash you have in reserve while you hunt for a new position.
If you have a budget, that fact alone indicates you’re good at budgeting. Some people don’t bother budgeting at all, which often means they struggle to pay rent and bills. They’re not planning on when they need to have ready cash, and they might be spending their paychecks on things they don’t necessarily need.
Setting up a budget with the other adults in your household with whom you share financial responsibilities is always a smart idea. Budgeting allows you to identify financial goals, pay your bills when they’re due, and it’s also a way to avoid harmful monetary habits.
Watch for These Signs
If you set up a budget and stick to it, that’s the first and most basic sign that you’re good at budgeting. It sounds simplistic, but some people don’t bother taking this crucial first step toward financial responsibility.
If you have a savings account with enough in it to cover three months of expenses in an emergency, that’s a sign you’re good at budgeting. Paying bills on time each month is a third sign that your budgeting is on the right track.
If you’re able to achieve these three behaviors, you’ll know you’re becoming more financially responsible, which almost anyone would agree is a sensible thing to do.