Is Making A Budget A Waste Of Your Time?
Find Out Whether Budgeting is a Waste of Time
Make a budget.
This is one of the most prevalent forms of financial advice out there.
If you’re suffering from money problems or looking to get out of debt, then a budget can help you – right?
It seems like an obvious answer.
Of course budgets can help, they stop you from overspending, ensure you save as much as possible, why wouldn’t they help?
Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as this.
Budgeting can be beneficial for many people, but is making a budget a waste of time for others?
We provide debt relief services to many Canadians in need.
Part of our mantra is that there isn’t a blanket solution to ease all financial troubles.
It’s all about finding a solution that works for you.
This could well be a strict budget, but you could just as easily slip into more financial distress by following one.
So, this brings us back to the initial question: are budgets a waste of your time?
To figure out the answer, you need to consider the good and the bad:
The benefits of budgeting
On the face of it, budgets present some clear benefits:
- Reduce your spending by being more cautious about where your money goes;
- Save more money by actively setting some income aside.
This may seem like hardly any benefits, but these two things target the main features of financial stability.
By reducing your spending, you will have more money left over to save or pay bills.
In turn, you can avoid debt as you don’t waste your money on non-essential items.
Similarly, saving more money can give you an emergency fund if any huge payments ever come out of the blue.
When you’re already in debt, a budget could help you make repayments on time.
You squeeze everything from your income to be sure that you find a way to pay your debts and still have enough for bills and life.
Ultimately, a budget benefits you by curbing your spending habits.
For some people, this is all they need to avoid debt and be financially free.
The disadvantages of budgeting
It sounds like a controversial thing to say, but making a budget can have some disadvantages.
Again, this doesn’t relate to everyone, but many people struggle to stick to a budget.
They find them far too restrictive, and they take too much time to put together.
Budgeting is harder than it seems.
You may need to create a spreadsheet, track all the money coming and going from your accounts – it’s a lot of work.
When you’re already busy, this is extra work that you struggle to keep up with.
When you feel burdened by a budget, this is when they fail.
It’s almost like following a strict diet that you hate.
Eventually, you give up and go back to eating what you used to.
The same concept applies here.
If you feel too restricted or burdened by a budget, you will eventually give up on it.
This can lead to crazy spending as you make up for lost time, putting you in more financial turmoil.
How to make a budget work for you
The concept of budgeting isn’t a waste of time.
However, the way some people apply this concept is certainly a waste of valuable time and energy.
In reality, there’s no need to have complex spreadsheets that make you feel stressed.
Instead, there’s a simple budgeting tip that helps you stay on top of your finances and avoid debt.
All you have to do is pay bills on time.
This can be done by setting up direct debits through your bank, coupled with standing orders.
A standing order transfers money from your account to another account.
From here, you can use a direct debit to move money from the second account to whoever you need to pay.
It sounds complicated, but it’s very simple.
Mike gets paid $3,000 on the 24th of each month. Mike knows that he has a $100 bill that comes out on the 30th of every month. He sets up a standing order to take $100 on the 24th as soon as he is paid. It gets deposited into another account, which has a direct debit taking $100 out on the 30th.
As you can see, Mike will never miss payments as he’s always got $100 in his account, ready to pay the bill.
This prevents overspending and bounced payments.
It’s so simple and so effective.
Need budgeting help?
If you’d like more advice on budgeting and debt relief, then we can help you out.
Give us a call or fill in one of our evaluation forms, and we will arrange a consultation at your convenience!