Do you ever find yourself making excuses for not budgeting?
Well, you’re not the only one.
If we’re being honest, budgeting is one of those financial habits that most people know they need to adopt, but very few actually do. And what’s unfortunate is that the more time you spend making excuses for not budgeting, the longer you will miss out on all the financial benefits it has to offer.
Therefore, in an effort to get you off the excuse train, and onto the budgeting express, in this article, I am going to cover 15 of the most common budgeting excuses. On top of that, I’m going to explain why these excuses aren’t valid reasons to keep you from budgeting.
Let’s dive right in!
1. I Am Already Good With My Money
I put this at the top of the list, because for a long time, this was my go-to excuse for not budgeting. You see, I thought because I paid all my bills on time, and was able to put some money into savings each month, I was ‘good with money’. It wasn’t until I started budgeting that I realized how many financial opportunities I was missing out on, and how many financial mistakes I was making.
As just about any experienced financial expert will tell you, a major part of being good with your money is planning and living your financial life according to a written plan (i.e. a budget). So, essentially, when you use this excuse to not budget, you are actually revealing that you aren’t that wise with your money.
And if that isn’t enough to get you to start budgeting, consider this: if you think you’re good with your money now, then just imagine how much better you would be living according to a budget.
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2. Budgeting Is Too Restrictive
When you first get on a budget, it’s easy to feel like all you’re doing is restricting your financial life. I mean, when you’re used to spending money without any real regard to the long-term financial impact each purchase will have on your life, cutting expenses and spending less can be a little painful.
But the truth is, that restricted feeling only lasts for a short while. You see, when you start to operate your financial life according to a budget, a few really cool things happen.
First of all, the boundaries you set on your financial life will start to transform into financial freedom. As you reduce your expenses and build up savings, you will be able to get financially ahead, which is a very freeing feeling.
Second of all, as you start to experience the joy and freedom that comes with budgeting, your desire to spend money will shrink. Like going on a diet and reducing the amount of sugar you consume, the first few weeks are the hardest. But, over time, your lust for sweets (or spending in our case) will diminish. And when that happens, instead of feeling restricted, you will feel in-control.
3. I’m Bad At Math
Here’s the thing, I understand that math is a difficult subject for some people. However, just because you are bad at something, does not mean you should avoid it. Rather, you should work on it, and get better.
Budgeting does not require any complex math. It is just addition and subtraction. On top of that, it doesn’t even require mental math. At worst, you just need to know how to use a calculator.
Come to think of it, you don’t even need to know how to use a calculator. You can just download the EveryDollar app for free, and all you’ll have to do is know how to enter expenses into your budget. The app will do all the math for you!
If I’m being blunt, this is a completely lame excuse. So, if you really don’t want to start budgeting, the least you can do is come up with a better excuse.
“Boom, roasted.” –Michael Scott
4. I’m Too Busy
Budgeting doesn’t take that long. Seriously, all it takes is about 30 minutes to set up your budget at the start of every month, and 5 minutes logging your expenses on a daily basis. You can accomplish that during your morning constitutional.
Additionally, if you make this excuse in one sentence, and then in the next, tell me all about a show you’ve been binge-watching, I am going to roll my eyes. Or, if you tell me you’re too busy to budget, and then you spend the next 20 minutes scrolling through social media, I might just call you out on it.
I have never met anybody that couldn’t honestly find five minutes per day to work on their budget. Even the day my daughter was born, I found 2 minutes to log into my budget and enter the coffee and bagel I bought at the hospital that morning. Seriously, that is all it takes, so if you come around selling this excuse, I ain’t buyin’.
5. I Can’t Get My Spouse On Board
Of all the excuses in this article, this is the most legitimate. I can’t imagine trying to maintain and operate a budget if my wife wasn’t fully on board with me. And I’m sure she would say the same thing.
Budgeting in marriage is a team effort. So, instead of allowing this excuse to keep you from budgeting, you should spend more time talking to your spouse, and figuring out how you can both get on the same page.
Just because this is a legitimate excuse doesn’t mean you should just accept it. Do everything you can to figure it out and start budgeting as a team.
6. Budgeting Is Confusing
If budgeting is confusing for you, then chances are, you are either doing something wrong, or you need to simplify your financial life.
That means reducing your expenses, getting more specific when you plan your budget, and staying on top of logging your expenses daily.
We have written a number of articles with tips and tricks to simplify your budget and your financial life, so if confusion is stopping you from living on a budget, I suggest starting by reading one of the following articles:
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If confusion is your biggest problem when it comes to budgeting, then you should take time to figure out what exactly is confusing you, and figure out how to simplify it.
7. I Can’t Budget Because I Have An Irregular Income
There are all sorts of reasons you might have an irregular income. For instance, you may work a job that pays by the hour, you may be a freelancer whose income varies by how many gigs you get each month, or you may be self-employed. But, while an irregular income can make budgeting slightly more difficult, it is no reason to avoid it altogether.
Instead, whenever you create your monthly budget, you should just take your average monthly income over the last 6 months. Then, as you get paid, you should adjust your budget to more accurately reflect your income.
At worst, budgeting with an irregular income just means you have to be a little more conservative in your income estimates. It should not completely stop you from budgeting.
8. Nobody Ever Taught Me To Budget
If your excuse for not budgeting is that nobody ever taught you how, then it’s time you take some responsibility for your own financial life. First of all, the fact that you are acknowledging that nobody ever taught you tells me that you just haven’t taken it upon yourself to learn.
If you know you need to budget, but you haven’t sought out resources to learn how to do so, then that is entirely on you.
It might sound a little harsh, but blaming other people for not teaching you to budget is just plain lazy. In fact, there are enough resources on this website alone to transform you into a budgeting pro.
So, stop blaming other people for your lack of a budget, take some responsibility for your financial life, and go learn how to budget.
9. Budgeting Is Boring
I’m sorry, but thinking something is boring isn’t an excuse to avoid it; especially when it comes to personal finance. As an adult, there are a lot of things you need to do that might not be the most exciting, but are critical for your future.
For instance, I don’t consider paying my car insurance a pleasurable activity, but if I use that as an excuse not to pay it, chances are, there will be a day when I seriously regret it.
As Dave Ramsey always says, “Adults devise a plan and follow it. Children do what feels good.”
In other words, boredom is not an excuse to avoid budgeting.
10. My Finances Are Too Messy
It is never too late to start budgeting. In fact, the messier your finances are, the more important it is for you to get on a budget.
So, whether you are drowning in debt, behind on your bills, or struggling with a spending problem, budgeting will help you get everything out in the open, and create a plan to clean things up.
Budgeting is the perfect solution to a messy financial life, so this excuse doesn’t make any sense.
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11. I’m Not Good With Spreadsheets
I have heard this excuse on multiple occasions, but let’s be clear, budgeting doesn’t have to be done with a spreadsheet. So, whether or not you know how to create and work with excel doesn’t matter one bit.
Budgeting and spreadsheets are not one in the same, so there’s no reason for you to use this as an excuse.
12. I Don’t Make Enough Money To Need A Budget
Many people think that budgeting is only for people that make a lot of money. But honestly, your income doesn’t matter.
Actually, I would argue that budgeting on a low income is the best thing you can do for your financial situation. Living on a budget will help you stretch every dollar of your income, and make the most out of the money you do make.
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13. I Make Too Much Money To Need A Budget
On the opposite end of the spectrum, there is no such thing as making too much money to need a budget. In fact, the more money you make, the more budgeting should become a priority. I mean, what’s the point of making a big income if you don’t manage it to the best of your ability?
When you pair a large income with a solid budgeting habit, you can accomplish amazing things with your finances.
On the other hand, there are plenty of ultra-wealthy people that have gone broke because they didn’t manage their money well. Don’t be one of those people. Budgeting is important no matter how much money you make.
14. Budgeting Doesn’t Work
If you have tried budgeting, and don’t think it works, then you either did something wrong, or you didn’t give it enough time to work its magic.
When you create a budget, and actually stick to it every month, I can promise you that it will work.
But let’s get one thing clear, just simply creating a budget won’t change a thing in your financial life. In other words, a budget in and of itself is useless. It’s the act of executing the plan you have created with your budget that will improve your finances.
15. Unexpected Expenses Always Derail Me
At times, personal finance can be a little unpredictable. At times, unexpected expenses might derail you. That’s just life.
But hardship should not be a reason to quit. Instead, you should just try to learn from every situation, and get better next time. Budgeting is not a perfect process. There will be months where everything goes smoothly, and other months when everything seems to run a muck.
The key is to just keep going, and continue budgeting. Over time, your budget will help you prepare for these kinds of unexpected expenses, and they will lose their ability to throw you off.
Do you have any other excuses for not budgeting? If so, how do you plan to overcome them? Be sure to add your comments below!