A budget is a tool that helps you manage your money. Following a budget can help you save money and avoid debt. It can also help you gain control of your finances if they are out of control. A budget is a spending plan, and allows you to control how much you spend on each category each month. However, there are many reasons people do not budget
Budgets Are Restrictive
Many people balk at the idea of a budget because they feel it is too restrictive and will require them to cut back on their lifestyle and personal priorities. The desire to have everything all at once overrules the need to have their finances under control. However, a budget does not mean it is necessary to cut back on all spending. Instead, it is a plan where you decide at the beginning of the month how much you want to spend on each area. If eating out is more important than keeping up with the latest electronics, you can put more money into that category and less into your electronics category. Each individual will create a budget unique to his own priorities and situation.
Budgets Take Too Much Time
A budget does take a significant amount of time to create and follow each month. The first few months, following a budget can take quite a bit longer than it will take once you get the hang of it. There are tools you can use that will reduce the amount of time it takes to track your budget. Computer software can download your transactions and categorize them for you, meaning you only need to check on them every night to see where you stand. Taking a few minutes each night will make the process use up less time than doing a big budgeting session once a week or once a month.
Budgets Are Confusing
It can be confusing to determine where each expense belongs. Setting up your own budget with categories you actually use and can easily define will make budgeting easier. The longer you budget, the easier it becomes, since you will be able to quickly categorize your expenditures and income and make adjustments as needed. The first few months are more difficult if you are not used to recording your expenses and making your budget balance each night.
My Situation Is Too Bad to Benefit From a Budget
A situation with a very low income or a high amount of debt may be discouraging, and people may be reluctant to budget because they do not want to acknowledge how bad the situation really is. It can be difficult to see that your expenses exceed your income even when making serious cutbacks in spending. However, writing down your budget and making the changes necessary is one of the first steps to making lasting change.
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- Chime. "How to Make a Budget: A Guide to Choosing the Right Budgeting Style." Accessed April 1, 2020.
- University of Kansas. "Section 1. Planning and Writing an Annual Budget." Accessed April 1, 2020.
Miriam C has been writing since 2007. She earned her bachelor's degree in English from Brigham Young University. Among her many jobs, Miriam C has taught middle-school students. She's written for Families.com and other clients on finances, family and education.