When it comes to financial responsibility, the first step is understanding ‘Conscious Budgeting‘. In the article, How To Survive In A Recession we suggested that budgeting is fundamental for surviving in a recession. It is also fundamental for any financial stability but it has to be Conscious. Here are the importance of budgeting:
Conscious Budgeting is the individual’s consideration of their present reality and goals before allocating resources to the areas of need. Without this, you would find that you spend money according to a defined pattern that is unsuited to your needs. This unconscious pattern may be from the teenage years or adopted from parents but the fact is that it is unsuitable.
Some believe budgeting is something people with abundant resources do. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Do you wonder why you should waste precious time to budget for an income that is barely enough for you? Stop wondering! If you wait to have more money before you learn to manage it, you may never have that much; and if you do get more money, you won’t have it for very long if you don’t know to manage.
Growing up in Nigeria, my observation on why people become uncomfortable with the idea of budgeting is that the comical image of the thrifty headmaster, from our children books, who marks his yam has attracted ridicule and so we have socialized into a culture that ridicules any form of proper management practices and forced ourselves to operate under some false sense of abundance.
For some of us, the truth is that we are afraid of having a mirror over the slothful, wasteful, and undisciplined character we so deny and so refuse to be accountable for anything in our lives. You may nag about being underpaid by your employer (probably true); or about your number of dependants (perhaps so); but what budgeting does is to provide you with an opportunity to declare YOUR CONSCIOUSLY chosen spending patterns and to SPEND your money to satisfy your conscious desires and values. We have refused to consider it.
I did not realize how much needless expenses I was incurring until I sat to decide on a budget lifestyle. For my income at the time, I realized I was having too many unplanned outings and I was gifting impulsively. These are expenses you probably wouldn’t think much of till you see the opportunity cost of the cumulative cost.
- Budgets give you better insight into how you spend your money.
- Budgets make you more responsible for your spending.
- You don’t need to be rich before you draw up a personal budget.
- There is no shame in acknowledging you cannot afford certain things when they are not within your budget.
- The problem of rejection of budgeting ties to our disinclination to delayed gratification, a lack of discipline, and a false sense of abundance.
- Budgeting will force you to do the right thing and protect you from further impoverishment.