Are Budgets Stupid?

A rant by Meena Kestirke

What does every money guru say?

  • Make a budget.
  • You need a budget.
  • Start with a budget.

No. Wrong. I disagree. I hate budgets.

Why do I oppose them so vehemently? I’m glad you asked, fellow human.

Restrictive Systems Backfire

Have you ever tried to not think about something?

You: Don’t think about eating those cookies, self!
Brain: Cookie, cookie, COOKIE! Just one wouldn’t hurt.
Cookie…cookie…and then…
Homer Simpson drooling






Yeah, it doesn’t work for me either.

I’m stubborn. Maybe you are too.
If someone (including myself) tells me to do something, without a valid reason that I believe in, I don’t want to do it. I want to do the opposite.
Giving yourself rules just gives you something to rail against. It’s not productive.

You are the Only Person Like You

  • Have you ever heard the boring old rules of thumb about saving 10% of your money, or spending no more than 30% of your income on housing?
  • Have you seen those stats about how the average Canadian or American spends their money?
  • Have you been caught up in comparing your grocery spending to others on Facebook?

Stop that right now!

  • Don’t give a damn about how other people are spending their money.
  • Don’t compare.
  • Don’t look at those stats.
  • Don’t use a budget tool that tells you how much to spend in each category.

(Oops, I should refer back to section 1 – sorry for telling you what not to do.)

You have your particular dreams, desires, preferences. They are ALL valid!
I’m not saying you can get everything you want whenever you want it. But I want you to get as much of what you actually want as possible. Not what other people say is right, or think you should be doing.

It’s your life. Take it back!

Budgets can Encourage Overspending

a pile of books

Huh? What’s that now?

When you create a budget, you’ve planned to spend a certain amount of money, whether by category or as a total. If you use the “pay yourself first” philosophy, then the rest of the money is yours to do with as you will, right? There’s no harm in spending it. (Or so they tell you.)

You’ve given yourself permission to spend up to $X on “mysterious item”. What if you don’t actually want or need “mysterious item”?
By having a regular budget, you can get into spending routines, and bad habits. You remove the consciousness from the spending process. I want you to be fully aware of each and every purchase you make, whether it falls within your budget or not.

Budgets Should Never Be the First Step in Improving your Finances.

Not even the second step. Probably not the third. And aren’t necessarily needed at all. Lots of successful, happy people save lots of money and have never used a budget.

If you are having trouble managing your money and decide to work with me, there are many steps before we will even discuss if a budget is right for you.

Interested in learning more? Contact me. I have a great December promotion right now. Check it out.

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