If you, or someone you know, is doing any of these things…

it’s time to be an adult.

You dread checking your wallet or bank account.

If you are worried to see how much you’ve been spending, or how much money you have left, then this is an obvious sign that you need to make a budget. There’s really no other excuse for it.

Look at your cash, do better, and get to budgeting.

You will save “whatever is left”

Let’s stop here. You have been saying this for years, but are we actually doing it? Smart budgeters know that you always pay yourself first and make savings a priority over everything. Your savings is what keeps the lights on when your utility bill suddenly spikes. Saving “whatever is left” is what keeps you broke.

Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.

“I will do better next month”

It’s easy to say that next month will be different. It’s even easier to put off your problems until then, but if you don’t actually do anything to change next month, then you are just kicking the tin-can down the street. Why not do something today?

If you can’t do it today, you won’t do it tomorrow. Plain and simple.

You are hiding purchases from your SO.

Anniversaries, birthdays, and small gifts are allowed. Lines of credit, major purchase, or frequent small buys (a beer with friends, a taco on the way home, whatever) is a sign that you two are not on the same page financially. Let’s face it… if you would rather ask for forgiveness because you know your SO will be angry, than you already know something is wrong.

Also… money fights are one of the top reasons for divorce. And divorce ain’t cheap. Fix your habits and save your marriage.

You get a credit card… “just in case”.

If your concern is about over-drafting your accounts, then you know you’re spending too much money. A credit card is simply an expensive way to blind your eyes to your problem. Not only can they bring out the worst in your finances, but they can be dangerous. I learned the hard way, and that’s why we recently dedicated an entire post to credit cards.

“My problems will go away if I just made more money”

I can’t stress to you how WRONG that thinking is. Working in the financial industry, I saw somebody just this afternoon who earns $18,000 a month…but wanted to use their car as collateral for a loan. Why?

To buy Christmas presents.

They earn more money in a month than people who are paid minimum wage get all year long…and they don’t have a penny to show for it.

If you can’t get a handle on your finances when they’re lower, you DEFINITELY won’t have a handle of them when they’re higher.

…however, there’s hope.

The nice thing about budgeting is that you will know exactly how much money you have at any given time. You won’t miss bill payments, and you won’t have to go without the things you need. Once you get going, you will even have some cash saved for a night out, a major purchase, or even a vacation.

If you need to make a budget… let’s get started! A new month begins this week, and that means that you are in a great spot to finally get a grasp on your money.

Now, let’s learn HOW TO MAKE A BUDGET.