5 Reasons to Create and Use a Budget

budget

Budgeting – the dreaded “b” word… again!

In last week’s article, author Heather Ryan explained How to Budget for RV Life and laid out a sample RV Life budget to base off of. 

“Living as a full-time RVer without a budget is like traveling without a map or, if you’re like me, Google Maps and my trusted truck atlas. While you can do both, the result would be difficult and probably wasteful.”

In this article, Heather explains 5 reasons why it’s important to create and use a budget… whether you’re a full-time RVer or not!

1. A Budget Serves as a Financial Roadmap

Remember how I said that traveling without a budget is like traveling without a map in hand? Your budget is going to help create a roadmap for your finances. If you get off-budget one month, then you can go back to your budget and get back on track. No worries if you do fall off track. That’s what the budget is there for. 

Yes. It’s there to help you stay on your designated financial route. It’s okay if your financial route changes over time – similar to how the best-laid RV travel plans (even if you plan ahead) always seem to change. 

Your budget and financial roadmap might also shift and adjust as life happens. This can be anything from adding a child to the family, getting married, changing jobs or growing a buisiness, etc. I think you get the idea here; your budget is a living document for your finances that adjusts with life. 

2. A Budget Will Show Unnecessary/Unused Expenses

Once you have set a budget, it’s important to compare it to your actual spending. Once you do this, you’ll see what you’re not using or maybe what you can live without. 

This gives you a chance to make changes to your spending to stay in line with that budget. Again, you’re keeping to the route you have preplanned. If you need to reroute to stay on track, no worries. It happens to us all. The more you do this, the more comfortable you’ll get at understanding your finances. Plus, you’ll form good habits that will carry forward. 

3. Budgeting Helps You Achieve Financial Goals

These goals can be saving for something in particular like retirement, paying off debt, or simply building up an emergency fund or a “for a rainy day” account. You could even be saving for a particular trip that’s on your bucket list or planning for a family member to quit a job and take some time off. Maybe you need to save for college or parenthood. There are so many variations and reasons for savings and having goals. Whichever you have, make sure to build them into your budget. 

Building them into your financial roadmap will help set you up for success. It will also allow you to achieve your goals – whatever they may be. 

4. Budgeting Keeps the Family on the Same Route & Reduce Family Tension

If you create a budget and everyone in the family sticks to it, there should be less conflict. The difficult conversations to address priorities will happen when you’re creating that financial map. Who doesn’t want to prevent arguments from occurring? Ok. It won’t prevent every argument but having a budget should help eliminate some disagreements over where and how to spend family money. 

This also means goals can be aligned and the family can be on the same page when it comes to big purchases or spending extra money on something that’s a high priority to the family. This could be holiday gifts, a special outing that might normally be out of the budget, or even buying tablets for everyone in the family. Whatever the goals of the family are, make sure they get worked into the budget roadmap. 

5. Reduce Stress

I think full-time travel is stressful enough without adding in budget or money arguments. There are so many variables to travel stress. Hoever, if you set a budget and financial roadmap, one trigger is hopefully now off the table. Plus, you’ll have budgeted for annual expenses and saved for them. No need to worry when the bill rolls in. Less stress for all involved is always a good thing. After all, don’t RVers strive to live a more peaceful, stress-free life? 

While budgeting creates some work upfront, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how simple it really is to stay on route. The rewards of less stress, less hassle, achieving goals and keeping the peace in the family all seem like pretty great reasons to create a financial roadmap and adjust it as needed. 

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Author

Heather Ryan

Heather is the owner of Tax Queen, a tax firm supporting entrepreneurs and digital nomads. As a federally-licensed Enrolled Agent, she supports her clients year-round with tax preparation, tax planning and bookkeeping for RV entrepreneurs. She also educates digital nomads and entrepreneurs through her blog posts and has written a book, Taxes for RV Owners, and created a course, Finances for the RV Entrepreneur, to help RV owners navigate the world of finances and taxes. She hit the road in September 2016 and travels in a 5th wheel with her husband and two dogs. 

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