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Chapter 17. Death, Taxes, and Other Impo... > Getting out of Debt - Pg. 179

Death, Taxes, and Other Important Stuff 179 Quicksand! If you prepare a budget but never look at it again, it's of no use to you. Don't go to all the trouble to make a budget only to bury it in a forgotten folder on your hard drive or in the dark recesses of a file cabinet drawer. Keep it close at hand so that you'll have a constant reminder of what you should be doing with your money. A second reason why people put off preparing a budget--or go through the motions of preparing one but don't use it--is that they think life won't be fun anymore. Living within a budget makes us think of sacrifice and scrimping. It's true that if you're trying to dig yourself out of a financial hole, then you might have to follow a strict budget that doesn't allow for too many splurges. But, in most cases, a budget has room for a few luxuries built into it. The idea behind a budget is that it helps you get a handle on where your money is going and how much you can spend on various things in order to remain, or become, financially secure. It also ensures that you're setting aside enough to save or invest to be not just secure, but comfortable in the long run. Having a budget is like having a routine for your regular chores and errands. It should be liberating, not constricting. By putting your expenses and financial plans down on paper, you don't have to worry about whether you're spending too much or saving too little, and about bills that might come out of left field down the road. The budget guides you in making day-to-day financial