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Starting a budget can be difficult, and getting past some of the myths is often the first step. I know I had some thoughts that made me not want to start budgeting 3 or 4 years ago. The fact of the matter is, you can budget, no matter your situation. Here are some of the most common budgeting myths I hear and have even tried convincing myself of!
By the way, if you have never budgeted before and want to, check out my post on 5 Simple Steps to Create a Budget.
My income is irregular
Here’s the deal, irregular income can be challenging, but it is not impossible to budget for. You will need to do things a little different than others that budget on a steady and completely consistent income.
A little difference in perspective and you’re good to go.
You will need to so some projecting, educated forecasting and priority lists, but you absolutely can budget on an irregular income.
My wife and I personally budget on an irregular income because my wife is an independent contractor. She makes a different amount of money each month depending on her workload.
This causes each paycheck to be different.
The way we bust the myth of not being able to budget on an irregular income is by making an educated guess on the absolute lowest amount she will make, and starting with that.
For instance, if I know that for the next month, she will make at the very least $2,000, then I can start by budgeting that. Once I have budgeted that amount and the actual paychecks come in later, if they are a higher amount then I simply add that into our budget.
We budget for the worst case scenario because it is easier to add more money in later than it is to take money away!
I don’t have time
When it comes to budgets and the time it takes, the first time you do a budget takes the most time.
I would even say the first three months you start really budgeting, take the longest amount of time.
Once you find your groove, flow and any other cool word you want to insert here, it may only end up taking all of 15 to 20 minutes per week. That is only 1 to 2 hours per month!
We all watch more TV than that… So maybe it is necessary to carve out some time to do your budget. Instead of watching TV one night, work on the budget and set yourself up for the month ahead!
I don’t make enough money to budget
Any money is money!
That’s all I have to say about this.
Whether you make $100 or $100,000, you need to do a budget so you know exactly how you’re spending your money. “Enough” can be relative anyway, your definition of enough money is going to be completely different than someone else’s definition.
If you don’t make enough money today, you won’t make enough tomorrow to budget, so you might as well start today!
It didn’t work for me
I understand this.
It can be difficult if in the past you were unsuccessful with budgeting, but here is the deal, you can do it, you just have to try again.
Don’t let the failures of yesterday keep you from the success of tomorrow.
The budget is going to be the number one way you will win with money, so if you have had difficulty in the past, do some more research, find a case study that has a life situation just like yours and learn from it!
Here’s my last piece of advice, stick with it. Budgeting can be difficult at first, but if you stick with it, you’ll really see the benefits of it. Give yourself at least 3 months before giving up.
I do my budget in my head
If this is you, I am jealous.
For me, there is just no way that I can remember all the bills that go out and on what day during the month and how much I have spent at the grocery store already and how much I have spent at Target for home supplies and how much I have spent on gas, all at once.
I made that a run-on sentence to make my point, sorry for the bad grammar.
If you really feel you can do your budget in your head, that is great.
Personally, there is just no way I could keep track of it all. Plus, with a budget it puts it all in front of you and gives you proof, compared to it all being in your head and having nothing to show for it.
At that point, it is a guessing game. When it comes to my money I like to know for sure, instead of guessing and wondering.
I won’t be able to do what I want to do
Your budget is going to tell you whether this is true or not.
It may even tell you if you should be doing those things are not!
If you are living way beyond your means and having a difficult time paying your bills, then maybe not doing everything you want to do is a good thing. The budget is going to give you permission to spend your money, or reason to not do certain things.
More often than not, I hear others tell me after they have been working their budget for a while that they feel like they have more money now. Having the confidence of knowing how much is coming in and what is happening with it all is worth way more than a few things that you really want to do but have to restrict yourself from doing.
If you are overly concerned about the budget cutting back your lifestyle, I would say start using the budget today. Try it. Give it a shot for 3 months, and see how much progress you can make. Once you start seeing that progress happen and your goals achieved, you’ll see just how worth it, it really is!
What’s the biggest budgeting myth you have heard, but overcome? Let me know in the comments!