Submitted by Rachel R on Wed, 12/31/2014 - 2:01pm
Stop making excuses about not budgeting
Image source: Flickr user Achim Hepp
Having a household budget is critically important for your long-term financial success, yet two-thirds of US consumers are flying blind without one. Budgets are critical because they help you live within your means, help you spend your money responsibly and help you set and achieve your financial goals. Not having a budget is like embarking on a road trip with a half tank of gas, no map and no idea about your destination. Unfortunately, many people make excuses not to budget. Today we'll reveal five common excuses we often hear for why people fail to set a budget and how to overcome them:
#1 I don't have the time
Not having the time is the go-to excuse for many things – not working out, not doing chores, not pursuing further education, etc. First, you won't have time until you make time and second, it is not that time consuming to establish a budget. It will likely take you a little longer the first time you sit down to prepare a budget – a couple of hours or so – but after that, 30-45 minutes a month should be more than enough to review your spending, track your goals and update your plans.
#2 I don't know how
Ignorance is not an excuse for most things – especially relatively simple things like learning to budget. In this day and age of the ubiquitous internet, YouTube, WikiHow and myriad other free sources of detailed information, this is no excuse. Just Google “how to set a family budget” or “learn to budget.” No matter what your learning style is, there is a resource online to show you what you need to know in a way you can grasp it. Budgeting is mostly common sense, but checking out an online guide can help you get started.
#3 I'm no good with numbers
The world is full of people who don't love math, but that's not much of an excuse either. First, budgeting is mostly addition and subtraction – most everyone can do that. And, if you're not confident in your abilities, just grab a calculator and you're set. You really don't have to have any particular math knowledge to set and stick to a budget. Use your computer and a spreadsheet program, a budget app on your smartphone or just paper, pencil and a calculator and you'll be set – no advanced math degree required.
#4 I'm handling my money fine without one
You may think you're doing okay without a budget, so why develop one? Without a budget, you really don't know how well you're doing and what you could be doing better. Do you own a home? Do you have good credit? Do you pay your bills on time? Do you have rainy day savings and a retirement plan? Are you financially secure and never have to scrape to get by til payday? Unless you can say a solid yes to all of these, you need a budget. Even high earners can get in trouble without one.
#5 I'm too broke to set a budget
This is an excuse we hear in particular from clients who come in seeking bankruptcy information. If you're living paycheck to paycheck, it can feel like you don't have the breathing room to make a budget because every dollar that comes in is already owed on an urgent bill that's past due. When your utilities are always on the brink of being shut off, your credit cards are maxed and you're late on mortgage or car payments, it seems insurmountable. Even so, you can budget on a day by day or week by week basis - a micro-budget.
If your finances are out of control, you need a budget. If you're too far behind on your bills to feel like you can confidently budget without an intervention of some sort, contact the law offices of John T Orcutt today for a free consultation to find out if a North Carolina bankruptcy is the right solution to get you the financial fresh start you deserve.
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