5 Budgeting Myths You May Be Telling Yourself

Have you ever felt like you’re too old or too young or just too plain tired and busy to try something new? Then, once you actually gave it a whirl, you realized how much you enjoyed it?

If so, you’re not alone. We tend to easily buy into lies—ahem, excuses—when we’re scared to try something for the first time.

Budgeting is no exception. Too many people are scared to budget, even though they’ve never really given it a chance. So if you’ve been telling yourself one (or all) of these budgeting myths, we’re here to set the record straight.

1. I don’t have the time to budget.

For the first few months, you might spend a couple of hours a month getting your budget down. After that, it’s pretty much smooth sailing—even though you’ll do a fresh budget every month, you will already have a basic framework to build on.

So if you’re currently not doing a budget because you “don’t have the time,” then make creating a budget a priority for the next three months. Turn off the home decorating show you’ve seen twice already and spend that time taking control of your money. After about three months, you’ll be in a steady groove and you’ll be creating your monthly budgets in no time.

2. Budgeting is boring.

You’d be amazed at how many grown adults don’t make a budget every month because it’s “boring.” You know what else is boring? Credit cards statements. And bankruptcy court. And collector calls. . . . Actually, those aren’t very boring.

If you’re a free spirit and can’t stand the thought of putting a budget together, take a breath. You can do this. Once you get the hang of it, making a budget isn’t all that bad. And with EveryDollar, it’s easier than ever!

3. Making a budget is difficult math, and I hate math.

AP calculus is difficult. Making a budget is not. This isn’t rocket science. If you can do basic third-grade math, you can do this.

Plus, with EveryDollar, we do a lot of the math for you. All you need to do is plug in your numbers. How simple is that?

4. I do a budget in my head.

A budget in your head isn’t a budget. It’s just a kinda-sorta-I’ve-got-a-vague-idea-of-what-I-spend deal-ish thing. To work, a budget needs to be tangible—something you can track every month.

Besides that, if you’re married and doing a budget in your head, then only one of you is involved in the decision making, and that’s a definite no-no!

5. I budget by keeping track of everything I spend.

That’s a start, but it’s not a budget. Because when you only track spending, you’re just looking at the past and never looking forward.

Your budget is your plan for the upcoming month. You’re planning the money you haven’t spent yet. When you keep receipts or use your online banking to see what you spent last month, you’re doing just that—looking at last month. Look forward and back—not just one or the other. If you’re already tracking your spending, the budget is just a natural next step. It should be easy for you. 

If you’re smart—and, let’s be honest, you’re smart—then you’ll let go of these myths, excuses and misunderstandings, and you’ll take control of your money.

Don’t let budgeting myths you’ve believed in the past keep you from focusing your money on what matters.

Get started on creating your budget now.