Does budgeting make you hurl?
You may think budgeting is utterly boring and useless.
Or you might think it’s only for the rich.
After all, richie rich people have a ton of money, they need to keep track of their finances somehow.
These, however, are common misconceptions.
Budgeting myths that keep you from tracking your money.
Contrary to what many believe, budgets can be very helpful, regardless of your personal finance situation.
Having a budget can, in fact, help you spend less and save more!
It can make you weep at first, especially after realizing where all your money disappears. But generally, budgets are helpful tools designed to to keep track of your hard earned money.
Knowing where you stand financially though, is essential if you’re looking to improve your financial situation and build a better future for you and your family.
13 budgeting myths
that keep you from tracking your money
#1 – Budgeting is boring
At a first glance, sure, budgeting may seem boring. After all, what’s fun about a bunch of numbers?
Budgeting doesn’t have to be boring though.
There are myriad apps you can use and crunching your numbers will feel like play.
You can use a spreadsheet and add a splash of color to your budget categories (it’s not to trick yourself to make this more fun, but to spot them easily and make budgeting faster!)
And besides, would you rather be bored or scared by collector phone calls?
#2 – Budgeting takes time
Once you have a ‘template’ with all your categories set up (mortgage, groceries, bills, etc.), budgeting should only take few minutes to half an hour a month!
When you start a new month, you’d just insert your income and divide it into your preset budget funnels. That shouldn’t take too much of your time.
#3 – Budgeting is for rich people only
Of course people with more than 1 source of cash and a high income stream benefit from budgeting.
But so does everyone else.
Don’t let this excuse keep you from keeping track of your finances!
#4 – Budgets are for poor people
It’s true that people with a really low income stream are literally counting pennies.
But just as the myth above, the one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t count as an excuse!
Keeping track of your money is something everyone should do, regardless of how much or how little you earn.
#5 – Budgeting is just for people in debt
If you’re in debt and have a low income stream, budgeting is indeed a good way to make a plan to pay your dues.
That doesn’t mean only people with debt can benefit from budgeting!
On the contrary, becoming debt free means you suddenly have more cash available. By keeping track of it, you can avoid overspending or getting into debt yet again.
Want to learn more about budgets?
#6 – Budgets are for people with irregular income
While those with an irregular income stream do benefit from tracking their expenses, that doesn’t mean you can use this as an excuse not to budget if you have a steady income!
Just because you’ll cash another paycheck next month does’t mean you should waste the current one.
#7 – Budgets are only for those with a steady paycheck
Having a paycheck does guarantee a certain level of financial stability, but that doesn’t mean budgeting is useless for those who don’t have one!
Having an irregular budget might actually require you to keep track of your finances!
What if you spend too much in one place and won’t have enough money to cover some of your important expenses later on?
#8 – Budgeting is complicated
No, no, no. You got it all wrong!
Budgeting isn’t difficult, it’s all about money in and money out. That’s it.
There’s nothing complicated about tracking your income and expenses.
You don’t need to be a math guru to understand where you spend your money and how much.
#9 – Budgets need to be detailed
Budgets can be as detailed as you want them to be.
Some track every single penny, so in that case yes, “detail” is the word of the day.
Others, on the other hand, keep track of their most important expenses and just make sure they don’t waste too much money in the ‘miscellaneous’ or ‘whatever’s left’ category.
It’s your budget, you can make your own rules.
#10 – Budgets limit your fun
A major concern among people who refuse to keep a budget is the misconception regarding ‘fun money’.
If you have a budget in place, you limit the amount spent on fun activities!
You will no longer order a 3rd cocktail, just because you feel like it. You won’t be able to spontaneously take your significant other out to lunch. You won’t splurge anymore on a gift for a loved one, just because!
As previously mentioned though, you’re the one deciding how much money you can afford to allocate to each budget category!
This means you can have as much fun as you want, provided you won’t suffer financially afterwards.
Budgets are supposed to help you make smarter decisions, not stop you from enjoying your own money!
#11 – Budgeting only helps if you want to save money
First of all, I have yet to meet someone who is totally against saving money!
I mean, come on, who thinks having money stashed away is stupid?
And second, a budget can be helpful. regardless of the reason you keep one.
#12 – Budgeting can be done mentally
I also used to think I can go paperless and keep track of everything mentally.
Experience tells me it doesn’t work though.
You know how much you made last month, you know how much your rent and bills cost you, but what happened to that $20 you used to have in your wallet few days ago?
Total mystery… Whatever. It was only 20 bucks.
A week later, another $20 disappears! When did you spend that money and on what? Another sixty-four-thousand-dollar question!
Don’t let this misconception fool you.
You can indeed keep track of your main expenses mentally, but the small ones will puzzle you periodically!
#13 – Budgeting doesn’t have to be a regular activity
You can set up a budget once and just apply it month after month.
Sounds reasonable, especially since most major expenses stay the same in the long run.
However, you can’t just “copy – paste” your budget month after month.
Certain expenses occur on an irregular basis: birthdays, dental check-ups, planning a vacation.
In order to be in control of your money, you’d have to tweak your budget on a regular basis.
The important thing to remember is that a budget is nothing more than a plan. A plan that helps you take control of your own money.
While it’s true that money comes and goes, it’s always best to have an idea about how you handle it.
Everyone’s financial situation is different. No 2 budgets are alike.
That’s why it’s important to get familiar with yours!
So you can stop living by following someone else’s example and become the boss of your on money.
What other budget myths have you heard of?
Have they prevented you from mapping out your own money-plan?
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4 thoughts on “13 budgeting myths that keep you from tracking your money”
I think budgeting does take time, but probably not as much as most people think. There’s a lot of tools out there that make it easier, but at the end of the day you still have to set aside probably an hour a month (or more) to go through your budget. Well worth it in my opinion!
An hour a month doesn’t sound bad at all. Our monthly budgeting task takes less, but it may be because we use the same ‘system’ each month so it comes easily.
It definitely takes less time the more you do it, but I think people should be prepared for it taking a decent amount of time up-front. My sister just started to budget and she spent hours getting her spreadsheet set up right – and she used a template I had sent over! Some of it has to do with skills, though. If you aren’t big on Excel it will take even longer. Sometimes an app is the way to go.