The best things in life don’t always come easy, and one of those things is budgeting. When you master the art of budgeting, you’ll enjoy less stress, more control, and more money to do the things you want. But first, you have to stop making excuses – and stop letting the biggest myths about budgeting hold you back.
To get you on your way, we’re debunking five of the most common budgeting myths:
Myth #1: Budgeting is Boring
If you think that making and sticking to a budget is about as amusing as watching paint dry, think again. Budgeting is all about planning for the future, so make it fun by imagining all the spectacular things you’ll be able to afford! Don’t just crunch numbers on a spreadsheet – make a mood board with photos of your dream house, wedding or vacation, and get excited about the budgeting journey that’s taking you there. Pinterest is a great resource for this. You can add images to a “budget goals” board and check back regularly, for a happy mental boost to help you stick to your budget.
Myth #2: Now Isn’t a Good Time to Start
One of the most common excuses for not budgeting is – I just can’t do it right now. But the truth is that no matter what’s happening; whether Christmas is just around the corner or you’ve got a summer wedding every other weekend, it’s always a good time to start budgeting. The point of making a budget is to balance what you need with what you can afford. So if you need to spend a little more this month on gifts, or home repairs, or yet another bridesmaid’s dress, that’s okay. With a clear budget in hand, you can get what you need, without the stress of overspending.
Myth #3: Budgeting Takes Too Much Time
With a huge variety of easy-to-use smartphone apps, there’s no excuse for not budgeting. You Need a Budget offers simple budgeting tools plus advice that can help you stick to a plan and achieve your goals. GoodBudget is a popular option for couples or families because the app syncs your collective budget across all devices. Finally, if you’re an HUECU member, check out the HUECU Mobile App. With access to all your HUECU accounts, you can quickly monitor what funds are going in and out, and stay on track with your budget.
Myth #4: I Don’t Need a Budget
It doesn’t matter if you’re earning six figures per year or grappling with thousands in debt – everyone needs a budget. If you’re making more than enough money, create a budget to help you reach your most ambitious goals; like taking a far-away vacation, or starting down the journey of investment. Get budgeting practice when you’re not struggling to make ends meet, and you’ll be better prepared for whatever the future may hold. Then again, if you are living on very limited funds, use budgeting to get a holistic view of where your money is going, so you can more confidently address difficult financial decisions.
Myth #5: Credit Is Easier Than Budgeting
Don’t fall into the trap of believing that as long as you have a credit card, you don’t need a budget. Although a credit card is a great financial resource, it shouldn’t replace a budget or be a blank check whenever you feel like spending money. Instead, use your credit cards to ease the budgeting process. Check card statements regularly and plug those numbers into your budget, and be sure to choose a card with perks, spending rewards and no hidden fees, like the HUECU Platinum Rewards card.