Budgets Are for Poor People – Right?

by Ryan Yates

Pocket lint isn't the only sign that you need a budget.

At least that’s what I used to think.

After about 10 years as an adult, I’ve come to realize how far off base my thinking actually was.  Now my whole view has changed.

Budgets aren’t just for people who might have trouble earning money, they’re for anyone who has ever been involved in spending money.

You Can’t Always Count on Money

I hate wreckless spending. I hate it when I do it, when my family does it, and when I see strangers do it. I just can’t stand wasting money.

But it also bothers me when someone acts like the money flow they’re experiencing will never stop or change.

If nothing else, the turbulence of the economy over the last few years should help us understand that we need to appreciate our sources of income in a way that is evident in our spending and savings habits.

Your Mindset is Key

Budgets aren’t going to do you any good if you don’t respect their necessity or their process. If you aren’t serious about gaining control of your finances, having a budget will be of little help.

Sure, you might keep track of things on your spreadsheet or your Mint.com account for a while, but if your mind isn’t in it, you’ll eventually quit.

Before you get started on your budget, take the time to truly ask yourself if you’re ready to take back your financial life.

Millionaire Minds and Bank Accounts

I live in an area of Texas where there are many credit card millionaires. You know the type, right? Those people who have the biggest houses, the best cars, and the most expensive wardrobes and accessories.

They’re living like millionaires, but in reality everything is debt, debt, debt.

So the question is, are you earning an average salary yet spending like a millionaire? Are you living within your means, or way way way outside them?

Who wouldn’t love to spend like the rich and famous? I would. But I know I can’t.

Because I have a budget and because I respect my budget, I’m able to help keep myself and my family on the right financial path.

Does the Amount Really Matter?

I’ve heard the cliche over and over again . . . “If you can’t live on $1000 a month, you probably can’t live on $10,000 a month.”

My response to this is usually, “Maybe so, but I would sure like to try the latter.”

But what I really take from this saying is that, if you can’t find a way to manage your money wisely when you make a little, you won’t magically inherit smart spending habits when you inherit a larger paycheck.

Photo By danielmoyle

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

krantcents April 23, 2012 at

The reality is you can live on any amount. It may not be what you envision, but yoy can do it. When my daughter graduated college, she had to live at home for 6 months until she had sufficient funds to move out.

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Ryan Yates April 23, 2012 at

I’m right there in agreement with you! The only worry I have about my kids moving back in is making the tough decision to scoot them out of the house when they have their finances in order. One of my in-laws hung around into her 30s, yikes.

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