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Why don’t we budget?

It has been said that if you follow a personal or family budget that you will save money and clear debt. I know that this is the case as I have followed a budget for the last 15 years.

Why is it then that next to no one actually has a working budget that they stick to? Being in the finance industry for eight years, having completed hundreds of client appointments, I can count on one hand the times someone has actually said yes to my question of if they do a budget. There are apps, websites and also companies that assist with budgeting services that can help people get their affairs in order by reducing debt and helping them save for a holiday, a new car or a child’s schooling. Yet budgeting, or ‘spending plans’ as they are also known, is a dirty word. We need to realise that whenever we need something, we just cannot always think of borrowing or credit. Credit has become too easy in many areas, and at Fast Debt Help we see it all the time. Too many credit cards and loans, and next to no savings. What happened to the day where our parents and previous generations who decided to save rather than borrow? Saving meant something – you worked so hard to save for an item that it was worth so much more when paid for with cash.

When I was young, my parents used to come home with their wages as cash – no Eftpos in those days. They used to sit down every Thursday night (pay day) and organise their bills and living needs for the next week until next pay day came around. They used to teach me some amazing things such as how much has to be put aside to pay basic living such as food, gas and electricity. It staggered me that what I was saving for at the time (a toy of some sort) that cost approximately $45 would actually pay half of the weekly food bill. It made me think harder about my purchases and still is part of me up to this day.

On a side note, I work at a school that has banking every Friday. It is so pleasing to see the kids drop off their bank books each week with smiles on their faces. They know that it is not the amount that matters but the frequency. Every bit helps – whether it is five cents or $10, it all adds up. My goal is to teach these children that in order to buy items, saving may be of benefit over borrowing. I am not for one minute stating that we should not borrow money to obtain things, as naturally when these kids get to adults age they will not be able to save enough to buy a home outright. Rather, what I am saying is for them to keep in mind the dangers of credit (especially credit cards), to know how interest is calculated and adds up, and most of all, know when is the right time to use credit.

Living within our means is what is needed.

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Why don’t we budget?
Peter Ellis, personal budget, family budget
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