The Problem with Budgeting

The-Problem-with-BudgetingThe biggest problem with budgeting (other than being incredibly boring to most people) is that people don’t do it.  What most commonly happens is that as people earn more money as they progress in their careers, they simply spend more money.  Basically, people spend what they earn.  (Some even spend more than the earn but that’s a topic for another day…)

What if you didn’t spend what you earned?  What if you saved more than you earned?  What would that look like?  What if instead of spending more you saved more?

Picture yourself saving and investing your money so that you have $10,000.  Would you stop there?  What if you kept saving and investing and you found yourself with $100,000?  Would that get you to stop saving money?  It probably wouldn’t, because when you start saving money and not spending all that you earn, you realize how easy it can be. 

Meet Your New Friends:  Early and Often
Start today.  Make friends with Early – as in save today, when you’re younger, rather than when you’re older, as in next week or next month, and Often – save regularly and often.  Deposit your income into your savings account and only spend a set amount each month.

I know, it’s much easier said than done.  Otherwise everyone would be doing it.  Just like starting an exercise routine or eating a healthier diet the trick is in getting started and doing it.  Everyone knows they should.  Most even have a pretty good idea of how to go about it.  The problem is in the getting started.

So get started.  Today.
Next time we’ll talk about some fairly simple ways to find the areas in your spending from which to create the small buckets of dollars that can be saved each month.

Go Gingham related links:

Tried and true investing strategies – a question asked by Annie!
Just balance that checkbook! You can do it!
Debt – you decide on the level you’re comfortable with
What does it mean to budget? Find out here
Frugal living is the key to saving
Frugal and green living – and where they intersect
How finances figure in frugality

5 thoughts on “The Problem with Budgeting

  1. I LOVE this post mostly because I grew up and live this way! My Dad always taught me that no matter how much I made, money could still be saved. Whether it’s a dollar this week and $10 the next. I learned early when I started work as a temp that I put 10% of my paycheck away (I was 17), as I got older I put more away. This allowed me to walk out of college debt free. We don’t do a budget persay but it’s one of our goals in the next 2 weeks. Budgeting kind of takes the vale off of nonsense spending. Like when J and I first were married we went to Caribou coffee once or twice a week on our walks and he went to 7-11 at least 2x’s a day while at work. The budget allowed us to see that $20/week at Caribou meant $1,040/year and I won’t even mention what his drinks and snacks at 711 added up to, but even though you know you have a habit, the budget helps you really see what you probably don’t want to. This tool is essential if you want to start saving for big goals like your around the world trip, house, car, retirement, or vacation. xoxo


    1. Thanks Michelle! That is the best thing about having a budget – it makes you stop and think rather than just spend. When we were first married, we kept track of every penny we spent and were able to really see places where we could save money. WHAT was your hubby buying at 7/11 and has he broken the habit of whatever he was purchasing there?? Thanks for leaving a comment. Your dad is smart…:)


  2. He had a juice/drink obsession; since we’ve been together that has evolved from pop to healthy drinks, like Naked AND finally water and also ‘breakfast’ from daily poptarts/candy bars/chips to bringing old-fashioned oatmeal/yogurt and then green smoothies. None of it seemed like a big deal until you really start to look at the numbers, then you just realize you were delusional. lol


  3. I love this post. The way I get my family to understand the whole budget concept and why I don’t want to spend large amounts of money on certain things is to give them the yearly total. We have a teenager who thought car insurance wasn’t that much until I gave him the yearly cost. I thought he was going to pass out! Parents need to teach their kids about costs involved with just living (housing, electric bill/gas bill, garbage bill, phone, food, etc.) It works much better if you give them the yearly cost of items.


    1. Diana,
      I completely agree with you. When expenses are annualized they suddenly turn a light bulb on inside the brain that says, “Oh, that costs THAT much?” It is smart to show teens (and adults) how much a few dollars a month can really add up to a substantial amount.
      Thanks, Diana.


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