You may have heard ‘Ignorance is bliss’. In some cases this may be true but when it comes to money it is the root of financial pressure and many ruined relationships.
After a decade of financial education workshops, here are some of the most inexperienced things we have heard people say about budgeting:
1. “I don’t need a Budget”
Really? Wealthy people are accumulators of money and not spenders of all they earn. They control their household expenses and are very aware of where their money is going.
You have seen those people who are jogging day after day and I am sure you think they are the ones who do not to need to jog? But that is why they are fit. Those who are wealthy work at staying financially fit and their work is called budgeting.
2. “Budgeting takes too much time to do”
We admit it may take a few hours to put together an in-depth financial plan but only 15 minutes (maybe 30 if you’re a couple) to get an idea of where your money is going each month. This is where to start. Once this is in place, it will be a simple exercise of a few minutes a week to know exactly where you stand with your money. Your planning will require less effort and become more accurate as time goes by. All the negative energy and time you spend worrying will turn into a positive routine. Imagine no more surprises around the 20th of each month when you work out that there is more month than money.
3. “You need to have a lot of debt to start a budget”
We think this may be the worst one because it is spoken by someone who may be on their way to a life of debt, due of their lack of money management experience. Without a plan financial decisions will always remain uneducated and very risky.
“Debt is a symptom of people who don’t budget.It is almost a guarantee. “
4. “You need to have a high level of skill in Finance or Accounting to budget”
Personal finance has very little to do with the activities of running a business. Handling a household budget requires a very basic level of maths and has much more to do with having financial goals and knowing how to stick to a plan. If you don’t know this already, wealth starts with a budget and is maintained with a budget.
5. “I will need to skimp on my lifestyle if I start a budget”
This last comment shows a clear misunderstanding of what budgets actually achieve. When a person who has never managed money effectively is taught how to budget properly, the first thing they will see is how much money they waste. When money is being watched, it starts being used in the right places, which often frees up money that was being wasted before. This translates to more of life’s goals being achieved. When you budget, you’re spending on paper, on purpose, before the month begins.
Author: Gary Kayle, Money Coach, The Money School