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5 Budgeting Myths You May Be Falling For

4 Minute ReadTopic: budget

You know us, and you know we want you to believe in budgeting—if for no other reason than the fact that it works! The worst part about the budget isn’t that it’s difficult (because it’s not). The worst part is all the misunderstanding and myths floating out there about why you shouldn’t budget.

If you’re smart—and we think you are—then you’ll let go of these budgeting myths, excuses and misunderstandings, and win with money.

1. I don’t have the time to budget.

When you start a budget, you might spend a couple of hours a month getting your budget down. After the first few months, it’s pretty much smooth sailing. You’re simply plugging in numbers and letting math do the rest.

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So if you’re currently not doing a budget because you “don’t have the time,” then your priorities must be out of whack. Because if you’re too busy to make your money goals a higher priority, then we would be curious to see what you do have the time for. Create a zero-based budget online for free right here.

2. Budgeting is boring.

You would be amazed at how many grown adults don’t make a budget every month because it’s “boring.” You know what else is boring? Credit cards statements. And bankruptcy court. And collector calls. . . . Actually, those aren’t very boring.

If you’re a Free Spirit and can’t stand the thought of putting a budget together, take a breath. You can do this. Once you get the hang of it, making a budget isn’t all that bad! Get your Nerd spouse or a friend to help you out.

3. Making a budget is difficult math, and I hate math.

This isn’t rocket science. If you can do basic third-grade math, you can make a budget. You have your income and your outgo, and they need to equal zero. Hey, it’s a poem!

Seriously, this is a really lame excuse. Use our free budget software EveryDollar to help you get started and make the math a little easier. But don’t stay away from the budget because “the math is too hard.” It’s not.

4. I do a budget in my head.

If you can seriously do a zero-based budget in your head every single month, we’ll assume you are the most brilliant person on the planet. Could you please help our government make a budget?

A budget in your head isn’t a budget. It’s just a kinda-sorta-I’ve-got-a-vague-idea-of-what-I-spend deal-ish thing. To work, a budget needs to be on paper or a spreadsheet or something you can maintain monthly and track. Besides that, if you’re married and doing a budget in your head, then only one of you is involved in the decision making, and that’s a definite no-no!

5. I budget by keeping track of every thing I spend.

That’s a start, but it’s not a budget. Because when you only track spending, then you’re always looking at the past and never looking forward.

Your budget is your plan for the upcoming month. You’re planning the money you haven’t spent yet. When you keep receipts or use your online banking to see what you spent last month, you’re doing just that—looking at last month. Look forward and back—not just one or the other. If you’re already tracking your spending, the budget is just a natural next step. It should be easy for you. 

It’s disheartening that so many people have fallen for these budgeting myths and excuses. The good news is that you don’t have to be one of them.

When it comes to your money, you definitely don’t want to be someone who will “fall for anything.” Take control of your money by taking control of your budget.

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