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Budgeting Does No Good…

by J. Money on Wednesday, April 28, 2010

…if you don’t stay on top of them.

…if you keep using one that doesn’t work for you.

…if you set outrageous goals that you very well know you can’t meet.

…if you spend 10 hours setting one up!

…if you track every single penny that comes in and out.  and I mean that literally – every. single. one.

…if you are doing it for anyone else other than yourself.

And lastly – budgeting does no good if you don’t change your ways!
Find a budget that works for you, and make it happen.

word.


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jennydecki April 28, 2010 at 9:49 am

It doesn’t work if you track any penny? Is that a typo?

I have probably spent 10 hours setting up my budget – over a six month period. I kept refining it and making sure only the most necessary information was on there.

But overall, LOVE the post and agree that if you don’t work it, it won’t work.

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2 jennydecki April 28, 2010 at 9:50 am

A typo in my comment asking if there was a typo – classy.

I meant every penny, not any penny. *sigh* It’s just that kind of morning.

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3 Brandi April 28, 2010 at 11:09 am

Ditto my friend. DITTO.

I have definitely found that it looks awesome when you throw every single penny you have at debt and cut way back on things.

But it’s unrealistic to not budget for things like going out once in awhile or buying a new pair of jeans.

You gotta live too!! And that way you don’t break the bank every time you have something random come up!

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4 J. Money April 28, 2010 at 11:59 am

Haha, nope – not a typo! I personally believe that if you track every last penny you get burned out quickly…not everyone will of course, but I know that I did when I first tried, as well as many others I’ve talked to. Def. go with what works for you though :)

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5 jolie April 28, 2010 at 12:53 pm

Tracking every single penny, item by item, is what did me in on several of my other former budget attempts. Of course not having a realistic budget and not sticking to it, didn’t help much either. LOL

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6 Keith Morris April 28, 2010 at 12:58 pm

Do you recommend any budgeting software, J?

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7 RMom April 28, 2010 at 1:06 pm

Personally I don’t agree with #5 (…if you track every single penny that comes in and out. and I mean that literally – every. single. one.)

This was the ONE thing that allowed me to see in a glance (a) where our total income was going, (b) the places at which we were spending it, (c) exactly how much we were blowing daily and (d) the fact that we were saving nothing at all. For the past almost 3 years I have tracked our spending daily and reconciled with bank accounts daily. That may sound obsessive but it’s the only thing that works for me. It has to be in my face constantly. Daily tracking has been the one thing that has turned around my bad financial habits. It’s all a matter of what works for the individual. Alcoholics and drug addicts take it minute by minute, day by day. Spendaholics are no different. I agree mostly with your other points though!

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8 J. Money April 28, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Always! Mint.com being my fave, then some others would be Yodlee, YouNeedaBudget, and PocketSmith – if none of those work I don’t know what to tell you :) Except for go old school like me w/ a spreadsheet!

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9 Yana April 28, 2010 at 5:58 pm

I’ve been tracking every penny for years. I like knowing where every cent goes and comes from. But I’m not sure that I’m a budgeter in its “pure” form. I just try to spend as little as possible, particularly on things that are not a choice. Habitual saving might be easier if one realizes that he can have something he runs into when he wants it, or if some emergency comes up with a car, it is not a problem. Emergencies should be expected and planned for.

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10 mbhunter April 29, 2010 at 12:43 am

What you said!

Great to see you again sir.

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11 Sense April 29, 2010 at 9:00 am

Me, personally? I wouldn’t even bother with my budget if I didn’t track EVERY SINGLE PENNY. I have been doing this since 2007 in an Excel spreadsheet, and from my point of view, all that work is worth nothing unless I track everything. Otherwise, what is the point? Do I have almost $800 to save this month? or do I have $850 or $900? As you know, little amounts add up quickly. For me, the whole reason I budget is so I can look at that number (Earned – Spent) at the end of the month and know how much EXACTLY I can bank towards my latest goal. It makes it so rewarding to spend less than I earn!

Oh, potato, po-tah-to. Everyone budgets differently. Find what works for you, it is the only way you’ll stick with it.

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12 J. Money April 29, 2010 at 9:55 am

I’ll share a beer with you any day Mr. Bargain Hunter!

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13 Rhys April 30, 2010 at 6:38 am

Hi

I created a Excel based spreadsheet at http://www.easy-budgeting.com after family and friends were complaining about budgeting and how hard it was.

Hundred’s of people worldwide have benefited from my budgeting tool and I thought maybe people viewing this artcile may also find it useful.

Cheers
Rhys

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14 Greg April 30, 2010 at 8:50 am

@J.Money

Or you could go REALLY old school with paper and pencil :)

Every 1st of the month my wife and I sit down with Dave Ramsey’s Monthly cashflow planning sheet. Has worked really really great for us and we get some dedicated, uninterrupted hour or so together as a bonus.

And we don’t track each penny….just round everything up or down. We figure the change evens itself out over the course of the year.

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15 J. Money April 30, 2010 at 11:44 am

@Rhys – normally i’d delete that comment for spam, but if your product helps just 1 person i guess it’s a good thing :) plus, your logo looks like one I would have created – so the comment stays!

@Greg – Wow, GOOD FOR YOU! That’s def. some old schoolin’ you guys are rockin’ :) I can’t get my wife to sit down for 1 minute, never the less 1 hour. We have “5 min. quick rundowns” every month where i tell her what’s up and she stares back at me waiting for it to be over. haha….i think she’s happy i do all the finances in the house. She takes care of everything else there so it’s all good with me!

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