Budget…A tool to keep track of income and expenses for a given period which also allows a user to compare money flow to goals by using the budget as a financial measuring stick.
Most people will admit that the term “budget” is not a completely foreign concept, yet many are too intimidated to begin or don’t see the logic behind using this tool. But budgeting does not have to be as scary as most people think. The fear of budgeting is often created by three common myths including excessive time, advanced software, and limited or no income.
Myth # 1: Many people think maintaining a budget consumes a lot of time. While this may be true at the start of creating a personalized budget, the time it takes to maintain the budget from week-to-week is considerably smaller.
Myth # 2: Another myth is budgets require advanced software. In the world that we live in today, technology is everywhere. There are many different budgeting apps that can be downloaded for free from the app store including:
If you are not fond of using apps, programs like Numbers, Excel, or Google Sheets have preset budgeting templates that anyone can use free of charge.
Myth # 3: Many full-time students do not have time to work, or if they do, they can only spend a small portion of their week working for pay. A normal student might ask the question, “Why do I need a budget if I have a limited or no income?” As I described earlier, budgets are a way to measure how you fair with your financial goals. Even if a student is not making an income, they are still able to have financial goals. Goals are different for everyone. These goals could be minimizing student loan debt, avoiding student loan debt, savings goals, spending goals, tithing goals, etc. Budgeting is a great practice for students to get in the routine of doing so that as they leave college, they can continuously adjust their budget and reach new financial goals.
Are any of these myths holding you back from starting or maintaining a budget? As I close, I would like to provide a few encouraging words through others’ success stories. Below is a Mint.com blog link describing different success stories of people who once thought negatively about budgeting, but decided to give budgeting a try using Mint’s free budgeting app. These individuals had the opportunity to change their financial health and reach financial goals, and you can do the same!