I’m too __________ to Budget
What’s your excuse?
Budgeting can be a scary idea as you start your financial journey. We get that. A budget forces you out of an ignorant bliss into a monthly discipline. It is no different than that health screening you avoid because you aren’t sure what your cholesterol numbers are going to be. But we all know that ignoring the issue won’t make it go away. Not visiting the doctor doesn’t cause fewer lipids, and not budgeting doesn’t put more cash in your pocket. At Bread and Budget, we hear a lot of reasons why people don’t budget, and we aren’t sure we have heard a good one yet (though we are always open to hear your unique situation). Let’s look at some of the top budget excuses we hear, and why we think they are bunk.
I’m too Busy to Budget
Life is CRAZY busy, isn’t it? You work long hours, take care of kids, manage a social life, pour into a side-hustle, all while struggling to work in some much needed R&R. Where do you have the time to fit in another extra? Especially one that has the potential to limit your freedom when you do get some extra time.
We are going to make a bold statement: You are foolish if you believe that you can neglect something as important as managing the dollars that pass through your hands. There are very few things that you should be putting a higher priority on than your (and/or family’s) future financial stability. The fact of the matter is, if you don’t make it a priority now you are going to be busy well beyond when you would like to be… because you aren’t going to retire.
Combat this excuse by intentionally carving out time at the end of each month to budget. Your first few months of budgeting, may take a bit more time, but you still shouldn’t need to spend more than a few hours. Do this instead of watching a football game some weekend.
Now that we have been budgeting for a few years it only takes us about an hour to close out a month and plan the next. If we weren’t clear: You won’t just happen into financial independence while you are running around putting out fires. Your busyness will rob you of your financial future and impede you from reaching your financial dreams.
I’m too Young to Budget
This one won’t take too long.
Now is the time when you need to set a strong financial foundation. You haven’t made any irreparable mistakes at this point, and you have a long runway. At this point in your life, a small change in financial trajectory will make an incredible difference later in life. Budgeting while young gives you a great chance to learn to responsibly manage a little, so that you can be a better steward when you have a lot.
This is a great time in life to begin considering your purpose and goals. A budget is one tool to help you move towards that purpose. Creating a budget now will help you better manage student debt, house savings, and limit the amount of money you waste on inconsequential things. We don’t want you to have a “Pink Floyd” moment and “wake up one day to find, 10 years have got behind you. No one told you when to run… you missed the starting gun.”
I’m too Poor to Budget
The argument here is, “I don’t have a lot of money, and it gets used up with necessities. I don’t have any money left over to budget, so why would I waste my time?” We understand this sentiment, but we also believe that this situation makes budgeting absolutely essential.
Imagine a small group of soldiers… Does their commanding officer think “Well there are only a few of them. I’ll just let them do what they want.”? We believe this commander would recognize he has less margin for error with fewer soldiers. Likewise, you need to recognize that if you want to win this battle, every soldier you waste is a large percentage of your overall army. While long-term financial independence might require you to recruit some more soldiers, right now your responsibility is to fight well with the army you have.
Additionally, it might seem strange, but we have found that being good stewards cause our dollars to have more power. We personally believe that God honors those that are faithful with what they have been given. Now, we can’t prove this, but we have a number of stories about positive financial surprises that we’ve received. You can call it luck, but we believe that good stewardship causes blessings (Disclaimer: WE DO NOT BELIEVE IN A PROSPERITY GOSPEL).
I’m too Rich to Budget
Shame on you. Not because you are rich, but because you don’t recognize that to whom much is given, much is required (was that the Bible or Spiderman?).
If you have riches, and you are not budgeting, you are squandering what you have been given. You may have more than enough for yourself, but with a budget, imagine how much more you could do for others! Could you give more to the poor? Could you start a non-profit that meets a need you are passionate about? Are you wasting an inheritance you could pass on to your grandchildren? Long story short, you have an opportunity to make an incredible impact in your community and your family. Don’t waste it by not developing a plan and boundaries for your finances.
I’m too Frugal to Budget
This is probably our favorite excuse, because we hear it a lot. “I’m naturally a saver so there is no need for me create a budget.” False. You may actually need one more than anyone else. You actually need some freedom to SPEND. We believe that discipline, contentment, and resourcefulness are all virtues. They help contribute to frugality. But there are some other traits from the other side of the tracks that are bit less attractive. These include hoarding, greed, and fear. These traits create a miserly approach to life that is more focused on self, than others.
Put another way, the behavior of frugality can come from different sets of core beliefs. Budgeting helps keep you embedded in the positive set. A budget will help you loosen up and choose where you have your fun. You can decide how much you want to put aside monthly for a vacation and then not feel bad about spending $3,000 because you decided to give yourself the money to do so. It will also keep you more focused on generosity as you build in dollars to spend on other people.
Lastly, if you are in a relationship, one person generally wants to spend more than the other. A budget will help keep the frugal person from playing drill sergeant. Before the month begins, you and your significant other will decide on what money can be spent and how. Then, as long as those boundaries are followed, the frugal half does not (and should not) micromanage how those categories are spent. And Viola! Fewer money fights!
What are you waiting for?
Now that you are out of excuses, what are you waiting for? We are here to help, and have other resources to help you get started. Don’t hesitate to reach out! We love to hear from our readers. If you have questions, rebuttals, more excuses, etc. feel free to comment below or drop us a line. Until next time: Keep Managing that Dough!