Personal Finance Tip #1: Build Wealth The Realistic Way – With a Budget

Two Thirds of Americans don’t budget, the Federal Government is currently operating without a budget, and many local governments do not have a budget in place either.  At this point you might be asking yourself, “Well shoot, who does budget then?”  Great question: millionaires.  In Thomas Stanley’s book “The Millionaire Next Door” he profiles the “average” millionaire’s behavior.  One interesting fact he does find is that they are “meticulous” budgeters.  Did they just all start budgeting when they became millionaires?  I doubt it, but rather they budgeted their way to becoming millionaires.

Budgets = Freedom and Control of Your Finances

Now you may have no desire to become a millionaire and that is fine, but even if you just want to build your nest egg or control finances you need to have a budget. I know the word “budget” scares many people; it sounds like a drag or a burden. There was a time when I myself did not budget and I had no real idea where my money was going. As I happily spent my way along in life I had this gradual uneasy feeling; wanting to have more control of my finances, but not sure if I could man-up to doing a budget.  Having a budget sounded constricting, life-sucking, and something for the financially oppressed.  Now I didn’t want to be in that crowd!  Images of my Dad’s long brow buried in the home office came to mind.  The truth is however, as uncovered in Stanley’s book, budgeting is quite the opposite; it can bring freedom, control, and peace of mind.  It is also something that the financially fit do as opposed to many governments, households, and organizations (remember you are $17 trillion richer than your federal government!).
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