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How a Balanced Budget Leads to a Balanced Life


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A healthy budget isn’t meant to close doors; it’s meant to open them.

We’re living in a culture where spending money you don’t have is not only acceptable; it’s encouraged. And you can do it all without even getting out of bed.

Our habits are driven by acquisition and consumption. Closets, basements and attics throughout North American confirm our ability to accumulate possessions. Our garages are so full; we can’t even park in them.

It’s a dangerous time to be alive.

We know quality of life isn’t defined by the make of the car parked in your driveway, nor is it established by the brand names you wear on your back.

And yet we keep wanting more; buying more; spending more. We accumulate stuff we don’t need, using money that isn’t ours.

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Rather than feeling happier about the lives we’ve built borrowed, we’re left maxed out, stressed out, and completely distracted by the burden of maintaining our status while paying off heaps of credit card debt.

Is this really the kind of life you want to live?

It’s Time to Take Back Control over the Way You Consume

How you manage your money can have a profound impact on the way you live your life, and yet we rarely learn these essential skills in school.

Five years ago, I graduated university with $28,000 in student loans and little direction for how to ease the load. So I did what any person will do when they have questions they need answered: I turned to the Internet.

In doing so, I stumbled across an abundance of real-life stories written by people who were in similar situations to mine. And their experiences, advice, and words of encouragement were exactly what I needed to turn my financial situation around.

Not only am I now debt free, but I’m also much more mindful of how I spend my paycheque. I track every dollar coming in and out of my account, and keep a monthly budget to ensure I don’t spend beyond my means.

Budgeting not only transformed the way I manage my money; it changed the way I look at life. I don’t see my budget as a limit each month; I view it as an opportunity. It’s a chance to build the wealth, freedom and happiness I strive for in my life.

Budgeting Tips from the Experts

I continue to be inspired by personal finance bloggers around the world who share their secrets to creating a more mindful, meaningful and financially responsible life. And I believe one of the most important first steps is building a budget that works for you (here are some templates to get you started). After all, personal finance is personal; everyone’s situation is different. But this doesn’t mean we should keep it to ourselves. Sometimes, sharing your budgeting goals with an audience (small or large) helps hold you accountable in reaching them. At least that’s what the personal finance bloggers I follow have found.

I reached out to some well-known bloggers in the personal finance space to ask them about their best budgeting tips for millennials. Here’s what they shared:

Do you have any budgeting tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!

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Charlotte Ottaway

Charlotte is Co-Founder and Managing Editor at The Reply. She is a writer, blogger and amateur photographer with interests in positivity, creative muse, generational differences and the future of work. She has written for Canadian Business, Zoomer Magazine, The Globe and Mail, The Huffington Post Canada and other Canadian publications. At her company, Web of Words, she helps solopreneurs and small business owners create real human connections online through blogging and social media. Better known by family and friends as Carly, she currently resides in Newmarket with her husband and dog-child. To learn more, check out her website at charlotteottaway.com and follow her on Twitter @charlottaway.

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