One of the most common myths of budgeting: it’s only for “poor” people.
I have been thinking about this blog post for quite a while now, and I finally decided to share it with y’all. I think there is a common belief out there that budgeting is only for people who don’t have any money, or don’t have enough of it. This is very far from the truth. Budgeting is for SMART people. It’s for people who decide to control their money and not let their money control them. Budgeting is taking complete responsibility for your financial decisions (even when it can be scary at first) and making your money work FOR you.
When I was just out of college, my paychecks would be spent on what most women in their young 20s were probably spending money on: regular monthly bills, clothes, dining out and entertainment. I would always pay my bills on time, but never really looked at what I had on my plate versus how much was actually coming in. At the end of each pay period, I would have nothing left and never saved any money. I always thought to myself, if I have money left over, I will save it. No big deal, right? Wrong. So wrong. If I had saved the $30 for the pedicure I got and the $20 for the new shirt at Forever 21 that I didn’t really need, I would have had $50 to put away into Savings. I so wish I would have realized then what I realize now!
But, the best news ever is it is always a good time to start! You can start your budget and use your Budget Notebook right now, even if you’ve never budgeted a day in your life up to this point. It is WAY easier than most people think. It scared me to death in the beginning, mostly because I just had an awful feeling that I wouldn’t like what I saw on paper, and my lifestyle would have to change so much and it would, for lack of a better word, suck.
Well, let me tell you, it doesn’t! It is the most freeing thing I have ever done for myself and my future. We all work so hard for our money, we deserve to spend it wisely and have peace about it instead of stress. I have everything written out in my Budget Notebook in detail, and I know every paycheck exactly what I am going to spend on each category of my life. So instead of the fun things I do being a surprise financially, I budget a specific amount of cash each paycheck for whatever I choose to do with it. Get a pedicure, buy new clothes, dine out somewhere for lunch, etc. And I do mean CASH. I go to the ATM at the beginning of the pay period and withdraw my set spending cash. It goes into my wallet, and I have 2 weeks to make it last and enjoy it intentionally. When it’s gone, it’s gone. This works amazingly for me, and makes me appreciate the things I choose to do with that money way more.
Most importantly, I save money at the BEGINNING. If I don’t, I know I won’t save anything. Even if you can only save $10 a paycheck, do it. You will be thankful you did.
So when you hear things like “budget friendly” or “on a budget”, etc., don’t think for a minute that this is beneath you, or that you have issues because you budget. Budgeting is what smart, in control people do. Do you think that the richest people in the world all got there by accident? No. Most of those people know exactly where every penny of their money is going, and that is why they have it.
I can see how this post may come across as a little politically incorrect, but I am so willing to take that risk to get this information out there to the people who need to hear it. I hope it gives you all a fresh perspective on your money game, and those of you that have or will be receiving your Budget Notebooks soon, I am SO excited for you to see how this mindset will change. your. life!