Five Myths About Budgeting In Your Twenties
With so many people giving opinions on your life when you are in your twenties in can be hard to decipher what is true and what's truly, opinion. Let me set you straight on a few of my favorite myths about what it means to budget and save money when you are in your twenties.
Let's get to it!
Five Myths About Budgeting In Your Twenties
"Once you make enough money you don't have to budget every month."
Sure this is true, if you want to loose all of your money once you finally get some. Dave Ramsey, the famous budgeter himself, started his financial program after he went from a net worth of 1 million dollars to nothing and filing bankruptcy. Just because you have a lot of money, doesn't mean you don't need to budget your spending. To be completely honest, I'd say that it is more important to budget when you are making more money, because that is when it is easier for it to get out of hand. The more money we make, the more we tend to just spend with willy nilly with the idea that, "We can afford it."
That my friends is a shot in the foot.
"Budgets just mean you can't buy anything fun"
Tell that to my iMac computer, or DSLR camera, or my husband's guitar! It's not that you can't buy anything fun, it's that you get your finances in order so you can afford some of the fun things without any of the debt. It's not that Greg and I never spend any money, it's that we spend money on things that matter or are important to us, instead of random things we don't need. (No matter how cheap they are!) Greg and I own a lot of nice (and some expensive) things for people who made basically minimum wage for most of our marriage so far. That is all because we kept a budget, and knew what was worth our money.
Most Importantly: We knew when something wasn't.
"Budgets are for real adults ready to settle down, not a twenty something like me!" ;)
I don't know how to phrase this myth eloquently, but I feel like there is this idea that budgets are for people in their fifties with a retirement plan and kids. When in fact, it's for everybody who has money coming into their hands, ever. It's especially important and necessary for you to start in your twenties because that's when you start working more and sadly accumulating debt. Whether it's from student loans, or from just dumb stuff you've put on a credit card. If you learn how to budget and save money right now, while your money is starting to steadily trickle in, when you are in your fifties you might not be planning for retirement, you might actually be retired already!
People think having a budget is like settling, when in reality getting your finances together is making the decision to not settle for the way everyone else is living.
"I don't really spend that much or buy anything so I don't really need a budget."
I've heard this, or a variation of this, multiple times. Worse yet, I've said it myself.Even if it is true that you typically don't spend that much money on a regular basis, that doesn't mean you don't need a budget. Before Greg and I had sat down and created our budget, I would typically just stop spending money all together if we were "trying to save". Which left me feeling really sad when I couldn't go do anything with my friends that cost money, or go and pick up a new shirt if I found one on sale. So then once in awhile when I wanted to shop a little I'd let myself since "I hadn't in so long". What would happen is in that shopping trip I'd spend more than was necessary! It was this feast or famine mentality. When you think you don't spend that much most of the time you start to make more excuses for why when you do go shop you should buy more. You are better off setting up a budget so you know exactly what you are allowed to spend, that way if you do get that urge to spend some money you aren't lying in a pile of regret at the end of the month with the tags still on. ;)
Even for us frugal ladies, it can be hard to pass up a "good deal" but 6 "good deals" don't equal a good amount.
"I don't want to buy anything big so why do I need to budget and save money."
Budgeting isn't just about saving for a big purchase. It can be an awesome investment in your future like for a house or car, but it also can be used for fun. I'm not saying to save a bunch of money and just sit on it, nor am I saying save it all just to blow it on something nice. I'm saying to budget and save your money for what really matters. (Instead of that $5 coffee drink.) So many people go into debt because something comes up, good or bad, and they don't have the money for it, so they put it on the credit card. Well, since they haven't learned to budget and save money (to pay off the debt) that credit card never gets paid off. The next time something comes up, boom it happens again. It's a vicious cycle. But if you are living within your means, have no debt and are building a savings, you are prepared for the unknown, good or bad.
Budgets are not just for the boring mathmaticians, they are for those who want to be in control of their life and have the freedom of choice!
I hope this swayed you away from thinking that a budget isn't for you. My mission of this blog is to teach you that being in control of your money is the best thing you can do for your twenties, and your life!
Good luck, I'm cheering you on tribe!