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The Real Reason You Hate Budgeting

For some reason, budgeting has a weird stigma around it. Some of my friends have told me that budgeting seems pompous, restrictive, unrealistic, and impossible. Others have told me that “budgets just don’t work for me.” I understand, but disagree. Let me show you why.

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When you first hear the word “budget,” what do you think of? What words, phrases, or concepts come to mind?

I can bet you thought of nothing positive. Most of our concepts about budgeting are negative, which is a huge dilemma in our culture.

The reason we think this way is because we’ve never been introduced to a healthy view of budgeting. Either our parents have struggled with it, or we personally have never been successful in budgeting  So rather than point your finger at budgeting and get upset, take a step back and consider this:

A simple string keeps a balloon from flying away.

Think about the last time you held a balloon filled with helium. What kept it from flying away? A piece of string. A small, insignificant piece of string keeps a larger, more significant object from flying away.

Budgeting is the string we attach to money to keep it from flying away.

That’s literally the most simple, down-to-earth way I can explain budgeting to you. It’s a tool we use to control a more powerful tool in our lives.

Have you ever held a balloon without a string on it? It’s oddly difficult to hold onto the tiny knotted-end of a balloon. Most of the time, people lose their grip and the balloon floats out into the sky, never to be seen again.

Money is the exact same as a balloon. If you don’t ground it, tether it, master it, it’ll float away from you, and you’ll have no idea where it went.

Now, let’s talk about budgeting. Budgeting is a tool you can use to help keep your money tethered to you. It enables you to win with money, become its master, and make it work for you.

Having a budget is something that will change the way you view money. Dave Ramsey is famous for saying, “You will either tell your money what to do, or the lack of it will manage you.” Budgeting is telling your money where to go, what to do, and having mastery over it. It’s deciding that you’d rather not let your balloon float away and securing it to you so it doesn’t go anywhere.

Have you ever tried to make a budget? How far have you gotten? You may have used a budget for a few months but slowly fell back into the frenzy of spending without restrictions. It’s probably gotten you into a lot of trouble, or brought on lots of stress and anxiety you don’t quite enjoy.

Hopefully reading this short, simple post has encouraged you to revisit your thoughts on budgeting. It’s not as bad as everyone thinks, and can actually save you (pun) a lot of problems in the future. Remember, budgeting is telling your money where to go and for what purpose. Will you control your money, or will your money control you?