It’s time to clear the air about budgeting!
Too many people think of a budget as a bad thing, a thing they don’t need, or something that just won’t work for them. Maybe you’re one of those people.
I can’t tell you how much I disagree!
So let’s talk through nine of the most common budgeting myths and why each myth is just plain wrong. By the end of this post, I hope you’ll see why a budget is an awesome thing that you need in your life!
Sidenote: You can grab the spreadsheet I use each month to create our budget and track our spending by entering your info below. Customize it for your finances and get in control of your money today!
Free Customizable Budget & Spending Tracker Spreadsheet
Stress less about your finances today with the spreadsheet I use each month to create our budget and track our spending!
9 Budgeting Myths That Are Holding You Back
I don’t make money enough to have a budget.
Not making very much money is exactly why you need a budget!
When money is tight, you need to be sure that you are spending every single dollar on purpose. You will never get ahead if you spend everything you’ve got. And while it may seem impossible that there could be anything left to save, there can be if you have a budget!
At the start of our marriage, Austin’s and my yearly income put us below the poverty line. Even when he got a decent job, we spent years living off of $1500 per month.
There were months when I was thrilled to have $20 left over to add to our savings, and I can assure you we would have had nothing left to save if we weren’t budgeting. We were able to get ahead even on a low income because we planned how to spend our money.
Even if you don’t make much money, you need a budget.
I make plenty of money, so we don’t need a budget.
Ok, so here’s the opposite side of the coin. What if you make a lot of money and feel like you’re fine without a budget? A budget will help you achieve awesome things with your money.
I’ve found that most people who make a lot of money are terrible at knowing where it all goes. They can still feel broke or like some financial goals are out of reach because they don’t have a plan for their money.
What are your big financial goals?
- Do you want to be debt free?
- Pay off your house?
- Go on extravagant family vacations?
- Pay for your kids to go to college?
- Buy your dream car?
Whatever it is, it’s probably possible if you create a budget for yourself and make it happen.
Even if you make a lot of money, you need a budget!
A budget is too restrictive.
This might be the most popular myth out there and it makes absolutely no sense!
A budget is simply a plan for how you will spend your money. That’s it. The plan can be anything you want it to be (as long as you’re not spending more than you earn).
- Do you want to get your hair and nails done regularly? Put it in the budget!
- Do you enjoy going out to eat most nights? Budget for it!
- Do you have an expensive hobby that you adore? Give it its own budget category!
- Do you love going over-the-top on gift giving? Plan for it!
The budget can be anything you want it to be. That’s not restrictive. It’s your plan, so plan it how you want to.
I don’t have time to budget.
Tough love, baby: You don’t have time not to budget.
Without a budget, you’re spending time stressing about money. You’re spending time working extra shifts to cover the bills you forgot about. You’re losing out on quality time with your family because of financial insecurity. Those are the things you don’t have time for. You have time for a budget.
Budgeting does not have to take up much time. A few hours per month total, spaced out a little here and there and you’re good to go.
I can keep track of everything in my head.
Nope. If you truly want to achieve big things with your money, you need to write it down, use an app, or use budgeting software.
You may be getting by with keeping track of everything in your head, but I guarantee you could do a lot better by getting specific and writing it down.
There is something about seeing it all laid out in front of you that will give you a real look at where your money is going and how you can make your financial goals happen.
Your head is not specific enough. Write it down.
I’m no good with numbers, so I can’t budget.
Most budgeting tasks require elementary school math skills, and this time you get to use a calculator.
I was never all that great at math. It was one of my least favorite subjects in school. My mom finds it quite amusing that I teach others how to budget and manage their money since I disliked math so much growing up!
You do not need to be great with numbers to be great at budgeting. You just need to believe that you can do it and dive in.
There’s no point. We’re already in debt.
Well, that’s just the saddest statement ever… Listen close: As long as you are breathing, you can work to improve your life!
I have a friend who worked hard to pay off hundreds of thousands of dollar of debt. She now is saving to build her dream house!
We paid off $19,000 in debt in one year because we worked hard to stick to our budget! We’re now saving up to move halfway across the country simply because we want to live somewhere else.
You can do this. Start budgeting and do the very best you can with what you have. Your life could look completely different in three years, or just one year!
My spouse won’t get on board, so there’s nothing I can do.
It’s tough to be working hard to budget when you have a resistant spouse. While this may feel like a “two steps forward, one step back” kind of situation when you try to budget and your spouse spends more than you planned for, you’re still be making one step forward!
I’ve heard endless stories of spouses who started budgeting with a resistant spouse, and then when the resistant spouse saw the progress the budgeter was making, they finally got on board.
If this is your situation, budget for the expenses that are under your control. Reign in your own spending. You may have to open a separate bank account to store saved money in or to pay the bills from if your spouse’s spending habits are destructive.
I know it’s not easy, but that’s not a reason for you not to do the best you can.
Budgeting is the worst.
Are you kidding me? Budgeting is the best!! Budgeting eliminates money stress!
I remember one month early in our marriage when we almost didn’t have enough money to make it through the month. I was so scared and stressed about what we were going to do. I forced myself to create a budget. Having a plan for how we would pay our bills and knowing how much money I had to spend on groceries was liberating. It took away so much of my anxiety.
Even now, I’m more of a saver than a spender. I get anxious about spending money on things we don’t absolutely need. That’s another reason I love my budget!
I recently spent a large amount of money on shoes. A purchase like that could have stressed me out, but it was super exciting because I had money set aside and saved up for buying shoes. I don’t need to worry about if my new shoes will mean that I don’t have enough money for gas in the car. It has all been planned for and I can enjoy my new shoes without guilt or worry!
Budgets are fabulous! They remove money stress and allow you to spend without guilt.
Our budget has been an important tool through the years to help us achieve some financial goals that did not seem possible. Without a plan for our money, we might never have been able to get out of debt, pay cash for Austin to finish his degree, buy our house, and so much more.
Don’t let these myths keep you from enjoying the benefits of living life with a budget!