Do you often find yourself making excuses for not creating a personal budget? Or giving reasons why a budget is not compatible with your lifestyle?
Don’t despair. You aren’t the only one.
Many times, creating a personal budget seems like a nightmare to people. They know they need to create one, but they don’t want to–and this cycle seems to continue on and on. The thing is, if you don’t create a budget, you lose out on all the potential financial benefits budgeting has to offer. You aren’t able to save money, decrease your coffee or takeout expenses, or even buy the holiday gifts you were dreaming of—and might even end up in debt!
There is so much to lose!
So, how can we stop making these excuses and get onto the budget train? Let’s find out!
Common Excuses for Not Having a Personal Budget and How You Can Beat Them
1. I Don’t Need a Budget! I’m Good With Money
People often think that because they pay their bills on time and often save money on the side, they are “good with money.” But, in reality, they’re just missing out on many financial opportunities. Let’s consider me as an example. At one point in my life, I thought I was “good at money” because I could save hundreds of dollars and still pay my bills. But it wasn’t until I actually started keeping track of my expenses that I realized my mistakes.
I was missing out on payback credit card schemes, discounts, and coupon offers given by stores I frequented. My subscriptions were taking a hefty bite out of my monthly personal budget—and I wasn’t even using them!
The point is, I never realized any of this before I actually started budgeting. When I kept track of what I bought, I discovered how I could reduce my expenses and save even more. You could do the same.
Think about this: If you’re good with money now, how much better would you be after you start budgeting?
2. A Budget Would Be Too Restrictive!
When you first start budgeting, the restriction on your financial income can seem to constrain. After all, you’ve been free to buy what you want when you want, so even a slight restriction can feel like a chain. But over a few weeks, this feeling will melt into familiarity, and you will become accustomed to operating your financial life according to a budget, which will lead to even more changes.
For example, you will become accustomed to spending only so much on essentials but aware that you have a pool of resources to draw upon. So, in case of an unexpected event, such as a car breakdown, you will have the financial freedom to splurge on a new one or to have it repaired.
3. I’m Terrible at Math!
Math is a difficult subject, and it is difficult for many people. There, we acknowledged it. But being scared of budgeting because of an aversion to math is not the right way to think about expense tracking, as it doesn’t require complex math at all.
The only math you need to perform in budgeting is addition and subtraction. That’s it. At most, you’ll also need to know how to use a calculator. And if you can’t do that, you can use remote tools like Mint and YNAB to do it for you.
4. I Don’t Have Enough or Too Much Money to Budget!
Oftentimes, people think that budgeting is only for people who have money. This is not true. A personal budget is just a sheet that tracks and itemizes your expenses, so your income doesn’t matter.
If you feel like you don’t have enough money to justify budgeting, then you may be in for a shock because if you budget on a low income, you can save much more money than you would without a budget.
Similarly, if you feel like you have too much money to track, you might also see some benefits from budgeting. For example, you may be able to get offers or notice discrepancies in your spending that would’ve gone unnoticed otherwise.
5. My Partner Isn’t on Board
This is one of the most legitimate excuses you could hide behind, as it’s impossible to adhere to a budget without your partner also agreeing to it. You both need to work together in order to start budgeting. A one-man army can’t really do anything.
However, despite the legitimacy of this excuse, you still shouldn’t just lose hope. Do everything you can to convince your partner to keep a budget, and if they agree, start out on equal footing.
6. I Don’t Know How to Budget!
If this is the excuse you’ve been hiding behind, then it’s time for you to think to rethink your financial life. It doesn’t matter if anyone taught you anything. You are a grown person, so you can take it upon yourself to learn about financial matters because they will reflect on your future.
If you don’t know how to budget and haven’t tried to find resources that would help you learn, then that is on you. This might be a little harsh, but it is the truth. After all, you are responsible for learning what you need to.
So, if you’re serious about learning how to budget, join a course, get some books, browse a website or two, and get on with it.
7. I Have an Irregular Income, so I Can’t Budget!
We get it. It’s hard enough to track your expenditures on a regular income, but that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to track your expenses on an irregular income—it’s just slightly more difficult.
For example, if you’re a freelancer who cannot predict the number of gigs you would get in a month or a worker who is paid per hour, you can still create and keep to a monthly budget.
By averaging your income over the past six months and using it as a reflection of your actual monthly budget. For example, let’s say you earned $13,000 over six months as a freelancer. You’ll divide this amount by six to get an average, which you’ll use as an indication of what your monthly budget would be like. Over time, as your actual pay comes in, you can adjust the budget to your liking.
8. I Am Too Busy to Keep a Budget!
Sometimes, people are actually too busy to create personal budget. I had a cousin who worked two jobs and never had enough time to even sleep, so budgeting was impossible for them.
But for the average 9-5 worker, maintaining a budget shouldn’t be a chore. For example, you only need 30 minutes at the beginning of the month to create a new entry in your budget spreadsheet and 10 minutes to enter all your expenditures every day.
It’s not as bad as you thought, was it? After all, you can spare 10 minutes a day, can’t you?
9. I Will Start Keeping a Budget as Soon as …
Oftentimes, people correlate the beginning of one action with the ending of another. For example, they say they will start budgeting from January 2022. But most of the time, they just end up not doing it because the incentive is not strong enough.
For example, an employer may think that they may not need to budget or track their expenses because they use a Pay Stubs Now paystub maker, which tracks every employee-related expense. But they would be wrong because a pay stub doesn’t show the whole picture.
So, when you want to start budgeting, you should try to make the incentive as strong as possible. You could focus on the benefits you would get out of budgeting or a goal that budgeting could help you achieve.
Budgeting seems hard, so sometimes we make excuses to get out of doing it. However, instead of finding reasons for not budgeting, it is better to try and learn from it. It is not a perfect process, but it will help you gain control of your financial life—and even help you prepare for unforeseen expenses, depriving them of the ability to throw you off!