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Budgeting: 5 Excuses Why You Don't versus 5 Reasons Why You Should

Posted: February 11, 2015








To Budget or Not To Budget? What's the Verdict?

If you were a judge and your next case was, “People vs. Budgeting,” would you rule in favor of the People no matter how many valid arguments Budgeting presented? Maybe the case would open with the court reading a charge like: “The defendant, Budgeting, is charged with violating the overwhelmingly accepted principle of, ‘Buy now, pay later.’ The defendant, Budgeting, is also charged with living within his means.”
A recent Gallup poll revealed that two-thirds of Americans do not budget. So, as silly as this sounds, most people would vote against building a budget.

5 Arguments Against Budgeting

Why don’t people budget? Five common reasons we hear at GreenPath are:
  1. “It takes too much time.”
  2. "Budgeting is too restrictive.”
  3. “I pay my bills on time, so I don’t need a budget.”
  4. “I don’t know how.”
  5. "There is no money to budget.”

5 Arguments in Favor of Budgeting

Let’s be honest, budgeting isn’t easy or fun at first. However, it’s an important part of successfully managing your finances.

Let’s take a look at five arguments in favor of Budgeting:
  1. A budget helps you gain control of your finances. Think of a budget as a financial roadmap. It will guide you to your destination. It will also reduce arguments and improve relationships because you and your family will know where you are going financially, providing a smoother ride along the way.
  2. Budgeting helps you achieve goals. Whether it is putting money aside for emergencies, a vacation or a college education, a budget helps you devote resources to those things that you determine are most important. Having a plan also promotes well-being and reduces stress.
  3. A good budget keeps you honest. Documenting purchases allows you to identify the leaks in your budget because you weren’t keeping tabs on where the money was going. Do you spend a few dollars each day on coffee? Do you pull cash out of your wallet or purse without any thought? It’s so easy to take $50 out of the ATM and just spend it. By keeping a budget, each dollar you spend is accounted for. That’s a powerful incentive to stay honest.
  4. Budgeting helps improve habits. What you measure, you can improve. If you spend more than you earn, you will drain your savings. And, if it continues, you will take on debt. Are you $100 away from going underwater? $500? $1,000? By measuring, you will know for sure and take the steps necessary to improve your habits.
  5. Budgeting helps you avoid debt and improve credit. By truly understanding how much it costs to be you, you can make adjustments to stop living from paycheck to paycheck. You may be able to identify ways to get out of debt and stay out of debt. By paying your bills on time and not taking on too much debt, you will take the most important step toward building good credit.
So there you have it. Given these reasons, I wonder why the majority of us would rule against Budgeting. What’s your verdict?

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GreenPath, Inc. --- also known as GreenPath Debt Solutions --- is a non-profit, credit counseling organization that has been helping people get out of debt since 1961.

We offer free debt counseling that is personal and tailored to your unique situation. We specialize in helping people eliminate credit card debt. We also assist people with student loan debt, help homeowners avoid foreclosure, provide reverse mortgage counseling to seniors, help people manage their credit score, and provide bankruptcy counseling and education for debtors filing for bankruptcy. Financial education is part of everything we do, and we also offer a wide variety of financial education tools and resources.

Over the years, we’ve earned the trust of consumers and community partners because we care. We're different from other debt relief companies. We’re professional, compassionate and committed to helping others.

When people contact us, they are often embarrassed and unsure if they are making the right decision. After the call, many feel instant relief from the constant stress and worry they have been experiencing.

Through financial knowledge and expertise, we provide high-quality products and services that enable people to enjoy a better quality of life.

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