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When it comes to personal finance, there are few topics as polarizing as budgeting. Some people swear by the practice of maintaining a budget each and every month, while others practically convulse at the mention of the word. With so many opinions and budgeting myths floating around, it’s no wonder that people so strongly disagree about the topic!
The problem is that mindless acceptance of any number of these common budgeting myths can be the death knell for your finances. You’re reading this article, so the good news is you’re motivated to win with money. And with the proper strategies and behavior modification, practically ANYONE can win with money!
Read on as we dispel seven of the most common and harmful budgeting myths floating around the web!
1. Budgeting is only for wealthy people
I can hear the scoffs already – nobody REALLY believes that, do they?
Most people probably don’t put it in exactly these words, but I hear similar ideas all the time:
- I’ll start a budget when I make more money.
- Starting a budget won’t help me make more money.
- A budget will only remind me of how poor I really am.
Of all the budgeting myths I’ve heard, this one is incredibly damaging.
Very few people believe they are wealthy, which leads to a feeling of resignation when it comes to money.
The moment you stop believing that you are in control of your financial destiny, you’ve already lost.
2. Budgeting is hard
Likewise, many people accept the laziest budgeting myth of them all – that creating a budget is complicated and difficult.
The truth is that if you have a grasp of basic arithmetic and a willingness to invest time in organizing your finances, it is incredibly easy to create a budget.
Don’t believe me? Check out our simple budgeting tutorial, which is consistently the most popular article on FinanceSuperhero.com.
3. A budget will feel restrictive
Let’s be honest. Unless we’re talking about the latest tight pants trend, most people hate feeling restricted in any way. Being told what to do ranks similarly in popularity to root canals and trips to the DMV.
But those who buy into this budgeting myth have it backwards. A budget empowers you by helping you realize what you can and cannot afford to spend and can even prevent you from finding yourself in financial binds in the first place.
4. Budgeting will cause fighting in my marriage
Have you seen the statistics which point to money fights as one of the leading causes of marital conflict and divorce?
Those statistics have probably ruined more financial outlooks than any others in the past 50 years.
The truth is that a budget won’t cause you to fight with your spouse any more or less than a new car purchase, a grocery list, or massive piles of debt.
The real reason that money fights are so common within marriage is lack of effective communication. So learn the right ways to talk about money with your spouse now!
5. Budgeting is for poor people
If budgeting isn’t for the rich, it must be for the poor, right?
Say it with me: everyone needs a budget!
6. I monitor my accounts daily, so I don’t need a budget
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not opposed to monitoring bank accounts and transactions on a frequent basis. In fact, I check mine often.
But checking each of your accounts daily, even if you’re using a tool like Personal Capital, is about as efficient as watching your grass grow.
Yet, the worst part about checking your accounts in place of a proper budget is that you’re simply becoming a financial reactionary. Rather than telling your money what to do, you’re floating onward without a financial plan in place.
Think about it like this: What if your boss at work gave you no direction about your job duties? You wouldn’t likely accomplish many of the things expected of you.
Your money is a lot like an employee. It needs lots of direction and structure to get the job done well.
A budget is the best way you can provide that direction and structure.
7. A budget can’t be changed
Many people never make a budget because they believe that once they make one it must be blindly followed and never questioned.
The truth is that you should constantly scrutinize your budget. It is intended to be a flexible tool to help you manage your money according to your needs and values. Your needs change drastically from month to month, and so should your budget.
While a budget can be a great tool to stay on track with money, perhaps one of the scariest budgeting myths is the belief that a budget is the magic bullet solution to all money problems.
Yet maintaining a unique monthly budget is one way to ensure that you’re in position to win with money month after month. Don’t let budgeting myths and excuses stop you from Taking Back Control of Your Life and Money!
A budget only takes a few minutes to assemble, but the rewards are potentially without limit. Getting on the right path, understanding your money, and controlling your money are keys to winning with money. A budget doesn’t require sophistication, manipulation, or secret wisdom. It requires patience, intentionality, and a desire to be in control of your money. Even if you suck with money, you can do it!