Today I’ll cover what are probably the most common excuses for not making a budget. I’ll give you tips on how to overcome those excuses, and provide you with a load of killer resources at the end to help get you moving forward.
Everybody Has a Budgeting Excuse
Doing a consistent, written budget is the best thing you can do to start getting your finances under control. When you start this valuable habit and stick to it, you’ll stop living paycheck to paycheck and stop spending more than you make.
But no matter how many times I tell people what an awesome tool budgeting is for getting control of your finances, I continue to hear tons of excuses from people about why they can’t, or won’t, do a budget.
The 5 Most Common Excuses For Not Doing a Budget
So I thought I’d make a list of the top five excuses that I hear on a regular basis for not doing a monthly budget, and how to fix each one of those excuses right not so you can start getting control of your money for good.
Check it out:
- I Just Don’t Have The Time- Seriously? Surely you can find 30 minutes a month to do a budget! C’mon! It’s true that it can take longer the first few times you do a budget. But that’s because you’re developing a new habit, and it takes some time to learn how to do it. But after 2-3 months you quickly become a pro at budgeting, and once you do, it only takes about 30 minutes or so every month. C’mon, you can find 30 minutes a month to save literally tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars over your lifetime. Think about how that quick 30 minutes will also relieve you of the stress of not knowing where all your money is going. Take the time. Get it done.
- I Track My Spending- That’s awesome! Keeping track of your spending is a good habit to develop. You’re doing better than a lot of people because you’re actually taking the time to keep track of what you spend. But just tracking your spending is not good enough. A solid zero based budget, done at the beginning of the month before you spend your money lets you to be proactive instead of reactive. It gives you a direction for how to spend the money before you spend it, instead of showing you how it got spent. When you plan your spending in advance with a budget, it’s always better than reviewing how you spent in the past, after you may have already spent more than you actually have.
- I Can Do My Budget In My Head- There’s always one in the crowd. You know, the guy who says he can keep track of every financial detail in his head. If that’s you, you’re deceiving yourself. Unless you’re the “Rain Man” then you only have a general idea of what your financial situation really is. A zero based budget is a plan on how to spend your money before you start spending it. There are lots of moving parts to it, and you can’t effectively keep track of all of them in your brain. Write down every detail, you’ll see a large difference compared to what’s in your brain.
- Making a Budget is Boring- Ok, I realize doing a budget isn’t the highlight of your day. But what’s better, always being under the gun financially and letting your money leaks keep draining away your paycheck, or being able to exercise complete control over your money? Complete control sounds like a ton more fun to me! You gotta get past the “boring” excuse and show some gumption if you want to succeed financially.
- I Hate Math- Dude, it’s just simple addition and subtraction! I’ve heard Dave Ramsey say about a million times that budgeting is just 6th grade math. That’s totally inaccurate! My wife Angie is a 6th grade math teacher, and 6th grade math is a lot more complicated than that. It’s more like 2nd or 3rd grade math. I know dealing with numbers might not be your idea of fun, but this isn’t rocket science. Don’t let the “I hate math” excuse keep you stressed about money and in debt because you’re just not a “math person”. Overcome your fear, use a calculator, and use your budget to get your finances on track for good!
My Experience With Making Excuses
I know from personal experience what it’s like to make excuses when I know something in my life needs to change. Angie and I spent quite a few years stagnating financially because we didn’t take the steps we needed to take to start winning with our finances .
But here’s what I learned: starting a new habit gets much easier the more you do it. I’ve finally gotten out of the habit of making excuses. I’ve learned to dive in head first much more quickly than I did in the past.
I still have occasional lapses with making excuses, but now I know how to recognize it quickly and stop it in it’s tracks before it takes hold.
Action Gets It Done!
Look, you can make all the excuses you want for not making a budget. These are just the top five.
If you’re not that motivated to fix your financial problems, you’ll find plenty of reasons not to do it.
But if you do want to change your situation, you’ll get past all the lame excuses and do what you need to do.
Action is what gets stuff done!
Everything You Need To Get Started
I’ve written a lot of articles on budgeting in the past, so I thought I would provide you with some of those resources to get you started. Most are free, and a couple are paid, but if you want to get control of your finances instead of letting them control you, here’s the best place to get started:
Free Resources- Blog Posts
Free Downloadable Budgeting Forms
Book: “Balance: The Quick and Easy Guide to Financial Stability Using a Budget” by Dr. Jason Cabler- Find out more here
Course: The Celebrating Financial Freedom get out of debt course. An online video course that teaches everything you need to know to get out of debt and stay out, using common sense and Christian principles. Learn more here