It’s the holiday season, a time to be festive, enjoy life, and think about creating a personal budget.
A personal budget?!
Okay, that record scratch you just heard in your head was real. No one (not even a CPA) wants to think about personal budgeting at this time of year. The fact is, we ought to. Otherwise, the joys of Christmas might give way to a months-long financial hangover. But the thought of making budgets raises a litany of objections that derail even the best of intentions.
So, in this blog post, we’ll help you overcome objections that could compromise your financial future. Let’s go!
First things first: Why you need a budget
A good budget provides clarity. Most people think budgets will stop you from buying what you want, but the opposite is true. You get tentative when there’s no budget, avoiding spending when you could be enjoying life.
Perhaps more importantly, a budget reduces stress. It’s like a good map when you are in an unfamiliar place. It keeps you moving forward and provides confidence that you won’t be stuck with bills months after the joy of some new purchase has faded.
Still not convinced? Maybe you need some more reasons to budget.
But more likely, you just need to overcome some common objections that keep people off the budget bandwagon and stuck in a cycle of financial misery.
Objection 1: Budgeting is like a financial straitjacket.
There can be some truth to that statement. Just understand that if a budget feels restrictive, you are probably doing it wrong.
Budgets should be flexible. Just focus first on the necessities of life. Then, you may realize that some unnecessary purchases keep you from enjoying what matters.
Let’s say you eat out almost every night. So, you have to eat at lower-end restaurants because it’s what you can afford. If you switch to cooking at home during the week, the money saved can go to eating out at a nicer restaurant on the weekends.
It may even allow you to spend more on necessities, like a nicer vehicle.
Objection 2: Why budget? My income is too small.
Even if your income is small, there is room for a budget. In fact, budgeting becomes especially critical when income is limited.
Limited resources allow for fewer choices. And if you don’t have a plan in place, it’s easier to make unwise decisions that keep the cycle of financial instability going.
By tracking a budget, you can think more clearly about areas of flexibility like food, clothing, and transportation. And you can save a little each month, opening more options for your future.
Objection 3: I have no idea where to start
That’s understandable because the correct place to start is not apparent. Most people would suggest starting with the correct tool or plan.
You should really start by examining these four essential elements: commitment, consistency, patience, and flexibility. Once you’ve established a proper mindset toward these, it’s time to decide on your approach to budgeting.
Some personalities may prefer a strict strategy, while others might be more laissez-faire. That’s a matter of choice, so here are five strategies that will fit just about any personality.
Objection 4: There’s no time to budget
Sorry, but yes, there is.
You’ll have plenty of time if you pick the right style from the previous paragraph links. That’s because you’ll have a system based on how much time you have.
For example, spending 30 minutes per week on a zero-based budget is pretty easy if you have a day off.
If your lifestyle is more hectic, there is still time to employ the “No Budget” budget because most of it is automated and doesn’t have to be visited as frequently.
The Bottom Line
These are just a few of the objections that dance inside our heads when it comes to starting a budget. See them for what they are: speed bumps standing between you and greater peace of mind.
So, don’t let objections hold you back from achieving your financial dreams – take the first step today and start budgeting!