Personal budgeting is a crucial part of any persons financial preparedness. For a defense person, it is a part of your military readiness and peace of mind, for both single service members and military families. Budgeting and planning your income and expenses with your spouse prior to your deployment will keep you both at ease. Making personal budgeting a habit is not really easy, but it is vital in helping you make the most of your military pay and will start you on the road to financial freedom. Financial freedom for an individual is some what akin to Freedom for a country – which you are protecting at the country’s borders.
For many people, their idea of a budget is looking at their bank account to see if they still have any money left. They think they are within budget, if they manage to have a surplus once in a while. Though this may keep them from overspending, but this lackadaisical approach or such low money awareness will not get them on the road to the goals of financial freedom or creating wealth, or even for paying for their own future needs.
A single guy or girl can many times get away with without budgeting their monthly expenses on a short-term basis, but it is a good time to learn and start. Once you become a couple or a family, there is no escaping from financial budgeting.
When you have to pay a mortgage/rent, car payments, braces, sports fees and equipment, dance lessons, piano class fees, etc. AND you want to invest for college education and your own retirement, just looking at your bank account once in a while will not help much. Both spouses have to understand the importance of budgeting, and agree on the common goals – short term and long term – for the family. Howsoever great a financial plan, unless both spouses support the idea of financial budgeting, the plan cannot work.
Many military families and even young military members just starting out often find it hard to make ends meet. Also since their salary goes to a bank account, the bank manager keeps badgering them about great financial products to buy. Most of these products are good for the bank to sell, and not for YOU to buy. Exactly why financial education and budgeting become so very important. Also we don’t do a very good job of teaching money matters any where in our educational system. So if your parents did not teach you about the concept of budgeting, you could be asking, “What is budgeting?”.
Well to the defense person who has been taught ‘survival skills’ for a week in a forest, you surely know what it is to ‘ration’ things for your own use, right? Well the same has to be done with money too. If you are a beginner in life, do remember that X years hence you will get a pension when you retire. This will be about 40% of your last drawn salary. And your house, servants, etc. will no longer be available. How will you live on 40% of your salary? So you need a corpus to bridge the gap, do you not?
The definition of budgeting could change, depending on your purposes. The word “budget” comes from the French word “bougette” or “purse,” and generally refers to a list of all expected income and expenses. Initially it is a plan for earning and spending. As you get older and have more money it will include insurance, investments, etc.
Go officer, TAKE COMMAND OF YOUR FINANCES!!
Part 2: How to create a budget.
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