As I write this post, I can feel what you are thinking… Oh no, not another budget post? People do not jump for joy when you are talking about BUDGETING. Talk about investing, making money online, or the newest shiny thing, then Woo Hoo! Budgeting, oomph?
So why another budgeting post? According to the 2011 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey, over 50% of Americans do not have a budget. This number has been consistent for the last three years. When I saw this statistic, I stopped dead in my pecks. Why not? What can I do differently to reach this group? How can I make a difference?
With hundreds of bloggers, financial services companies, and now mainstream media writing about personal finances and household budgeting, we know there is not a shortage of information. For this reason alone, I am going to eliminate, “I don’t know how” as a reason people don’t keep a budget. Unfortunately, that does not fly. So what’s the problem? Below are three reasons why people may not have a budget:
1. Not taking action. We are spoiled with the amount of information that is readily available at our fingertips. The results: information overload, not improved behavior or action. People may be overwhelmed with the many methods and tools available.
2. Entrenched negative behavior pattern or mindset. Budgeting is a discipline, not an App or software. Budgeting is a process, not just a tool. Finally, budgeting is a lifelong habit, not just a task. It takes time and patience to follow through. It may take 6-12 months before it starts to flow. Most people quit long before then. Yes, it can be difficult at first, but the rewards are great.
3. Don’t care. You can never count this group out. Obviously there will never be 100% of happy budgeters. However, with the amount of information available and focused attention over the past 3 years, it seems that the percentage would have improved slightly.
Although the word BUDGET conjures up a negative taste for some, it is more acceptable now. Budgeting does not mean frugality, nor does it mean constraint. Budgeting is learning how to keep a few extra dollars in your pockets by becoming a watchdog over your money.
I am not sure if I can make budgeting sexy, but I do aim to help to make it simple and uncomplicated.
What do you think?
The MoneyWise Teacher