Besides using a budget to make the most out of your earnings, a budget can be a lifesaver during rough times.
Most people go through days caught in the hustle and bustle of life. You drive your kids to whatever practice, it gets late, maybe pick up some fast food for the convenience of not cooking. Maggie broke her ballet shoes and bang! Amazon delivers for you.
The one thing that we are unable to order from Amazon and solve so easily is a new job. If you lose your job and you lose your income it can throw your family on the street in no time; especially when you are in debt and if can’t make drastic changes quickly.
We tend to think these things won’t happen but we know they do happen, and in a slow job market it can be very destructive.
That has always been something in my mind during those times that have had credit card debt, despite having a very “secure” job personally; as a teacher at least that’s what people say.
One of the greatest things about creating a detailed budget is that you can clearly see what your minimum income must be to keep yourself afloat covering the basic needs of shelter, food and heat. If rough times come into your life that would be the worst moment for you to try to figure out where your money is, or what you truly need to cover the basics.
I like to call this sort of preparedness “pulling the plug.” If I happened to lose my job tomorrow I might not have the money runway to keep my family’s current expenses for very long. However, I can quickly look at my spreadsheet and in a minute I can make drastic decisions about what needs to be cut so that we can make our savings go much farther.
If you have not beefed up your emergency fund make sure you are at least ready to tackle rough times by having a budget, so you can pull the plug in case of an emergency.