Budgets are primarily a means to keep you living within your means. However, after living this past year on a strict budget, I'm realizing that there are some additional benefits:
The Value of Money
Both of us are now more aware of the value of a dollar. Given limited resources, we think twice before spending. Recently, I passed on a $2 board game at a thrift store because I doubted I would use it again. I don't think I ever thought twice about a $2 purchase before we had a budget. However, after discussing with friends, it seemed as though the game would get used. And lucky for me, when I returned to see if it was still available, there happened to be a 50% off sale...so I bought it for $1!
Now that we have a concrete spending limit, we are both much more aware of future expenses. While shopping last week, She and I both realized that the holiday's are coming, and the accompanying extra expenses. As such, we've both forgone typical expenditures so that we're certain to have enough as they arise.