We all have a love-hate relationship with talking about money. While we may love the idea of sharing money ideas with our friends and family it is still a taboo topic. We then turn to the internet for our money needs and there are just so many ideas swirling around. What is the truth? What do I need to ignore? We are going to explore a few budgeting myths today and I’ll share the hard truth with you.
Maybe you have tried to set up a budget before. Budgeting is so much more than just writing down your income and expenses. That is a good start but you will need to actually track what you are spending. You will need to make changes to your budget each month to meet your goals and make the numbers work for you.
Ignore these Budgeting Myths
Budgeting Myths: I don’t have time to budget.
Budgeting Truth: You do have time to budget. It may seem like you are always busy and that budgeting will take too much time. Here is the hard truth. If it is important to you, you will prioritize it. Make budgeting a priority in your home and you’ll be surprised what you have time for. Online budgeting tools, like YNAB, are a great resource to help you save time budgeting. You can even use the app on the go!
Budgeting Myths: Making a budget is difficult.
Budgeting Truth: Your first budget may be difficult to make. You’ll want to check your bank accounts to see where you have been spending your money to give you a better idea of what your budget should be. Here is the thing, after that first budget it gets increasingly easier. The money you budget, the easier it gets. I will mention it again, use an online budgeting tool like YNAB to make your budget easier. The software will link right to your bank to help you take the guesswork out of budgeting.
Budgeting Myths: A budget is too restrictive.
Budgeting Truth: A budget is not restrictive. If your budget feels restrictive you are doing it wrong. A budget is a plan for your money. It will show tell you exactly where you to spend your money (based on the priorities you set!). Then you’ll track your spending to ensure you are on point to meet your goals.
If your budget feels restrictive a few things may need to change. Your goals are too aggressive or you are not budgeting enough for certain categories. You will need to adjust your budget. If you don’t anywhere you can adjust then it’s time to look at increasing your income.
Budgeting Myths: I can’t get my spouse on board.
Budgeting Truth: You need to start having these difficult conversations. Money is not an easy topic to bring up but it is necessary to have these conversations in your marriage. You will need to sit down and get on the same page about your priorities and what your goals are for your money. Maybe you’re the nerd and you take charge of creating the budget and tracking the expenses. That is okay.
Set aside time each week for a family meeting to discuss the budget and your spending from the previous week. It will allow your spouse to see how important this is to you and will show them the progress you are making with your family’s financial future. Be consistent with this and your family will come around eventually.
Budgeting Myths: I can’t go out anymore because I am on a budget.
Budgeting Truth: Is going out for dinner a priority? Is shopping something you still want to do? Then give yourself money in those particular categories in your budget. You can still enjoy a nice dinner at a restaurant or a stroll through the mall. Just because you are being intentional with your spending and your money doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy any of it! Have a plan to enjoy some of your hard earned money.
Budgeting Myths: I earn a good salary, I don’t need a budget.
Budgeting Truth: We can all use a budget. A budget is a plan for your money and it tells your money exactly how you want to spend it. Don’t hide behind your salary. You still have financial goals you want to meet. Creating a budget will help you meet goals and cut back in areas that do not align with your values.
Budgeting Myths: There is no point. I am already in debt.
Budgeting Truth: Being in debt should be a big motivator for you to actually budget! Debt does not have to be a life sentence. By creating a budget and living with it you will be able to make changes and start to pay back your debt. It will be difficult and it will take a lot of work but you don’t have to stay in debt. You need to face your debt head on and make the necessary changes in your life.
Budgeting Myths: It’s too late in the year to start.
Budgeting Truth: It doesn’t matter when you start a budget. You can start one today, in the middle of the month. It doesn’t matter. What matters most is that you start somewhere. You can’t make the changes necessary to spend intentionally if you don’t start. There will a shouldn’t let birthday or holiday coming up. You shouldn’t let those things hinder you from making a financial change.
Budgeting Myths: I don’t want my kids to go without.
Budgeting Truth: We all want what is best for the kids in our life. I get it. We want to give our kids a better childhood than we had but at what expense? They don’t need the latest and greatest electronics. They don’t need the name brand clothing. Start now by teaching your kids the true cost of a dollar. They may be annoyed now, but I bet they will thank you when they are older.
Your kids won’t miss that toy they didn’t get for Christmas. They will live without the latest cell phone. Share experiences with your kids and teach them to value what they do have. Help them see the true value of an idea and understand the concepts of saving and budgeting. These are valuable skills we all need and learning the skills early will put your child years ahead. They may not be happy about missing out on the name brand clothes or the latest electronic, but I promise you they will be okay.
Budgeting Myths: We’ll deal with it when we are older.
Budgeting Truth: This is the worst thing you can do for your current self and your future self. You need to pay off your debt now and get a hold of your finances. There is no one there to take care of you when you are older. You’ll need a nest egg for yourself and if you do not start planning now you’ll struggle later on in life.
Don’t think the government or your kids will take care of you. You need to plan for yourself. The best time to start is now. Maybe retirement is 30 years off, that’s fabulous. That means you have 30 years to invest in yourself. You have time to pay off your debt (get it done sooner rather than later though!) and you will still have time to enjoy some of your hard earned money.
Ignore the Budgeting Myths and take control of your finances.
There is no better time than the present to take control of your finances. I will not sit here and tell you that it will easy. Learning how to manage your money and actually follow through with it takes a lot of hard work. You’ll need to be intentional every single day. It is well worth it.
3 years ago when we started tracking every dollar it was a task. I hated it. Now, it’s second nature and takes just a few minutes. We have a better understanding of our spending patterns and can make changes. We have paid off over $50,000 in consumer debt, bought a new house, and have taken vacations paid for in cash. It’s amazing how much your life can change just by creating a budget and being more intentional.
Have those hard conversations with your family about money. It will change your life.