Try adopting a few of these helpful habits.

1. It will help you think through the details of a decision.

It’s a lot easier to make smart decisions when you have all the facts lying in front of you. Your budget is made up of your financial facts. It tells you exactly what your income is, what your bills are, and what you have to do to balance the two. So instead of getting caught up by your emotional, impulsive heart, a budget helps you keep your head in charge.

2. Having a budget takes away the stress of the unknown.

When it comes to money, not knowing is a lot more stressful than knowing, even if the news is bad. If you have less money, every purchase can be nerve-racking. Can I afford this? Is my card going to be declined? Am I forgetting something else that I needed this money for? A budget makes sure that all of those questions are already answered. Your money management becomes largely “set it and forget it.”

3. A budget gives you a game plan when something goes wrong.

If something goes wrong in your financial life, like an unexpected $100 fee, your budget shows you where to start. That $100 has to come from somewhere. Where does your budget have some wiggle room? Can you forgo takeout for the month? Maybe you can carpool for a few weeks to save on gas? Your budget will show you quickly all your options, so you don’t have to panic and scramble to make something work.

4. It lets you treat yourself without the next-day guilt.

Going without any enjoyment cannot last forever. People need a break and need a treat. What a budget does is it tells you how big of treat you can afford. What’s more is you can enjoy it fully knowing your other expenses are taken care of.

5. Keeps you on track to reach your goals.

It can be easy to abandon your goals when life starts getting busy. You know everyone says you should be saving for retirement and you keep meaning to start, but every month something else comes up. Budgets help you keep long term goals in the forefront by setting money aside before life gets in the way.