I’ve read just about every personal finance book on the market over the past 7-years. And they all say the same thing when it comes to managing money:
“To get out of debt, you need to know what’s coming in and what’s going out. That’s why having a budget will make all the difference.”
Most recommend sitting down once a month to track what you spent your money on. You can do this using spreadsheets, online budgeting tools and even plain old pen and paper. So, I tried doing this and here’s one thing I know…
I totally suck when it comes to budgeting…
That’s right – your money coach hates to budget. It’s not that I don’t know how to balance the numbers. Quite the contrary – I love numbers and can work through long division in my sleep. The problem is that balancing the books taps into my greatest weakness which is attention to detail.
I get frustrated and bored by details. I like to keep things high level. I like to keep things dreamy and positive. Budgeting often forces me to beat myself up for not following the proverbial plan. Then the guilt sets in. Then the blame. Then these negative emotions cloud-up my personal atmosphere which is never a good thing.
And frankly, this is the reason why most of us fail at budgeting…
You could get the most gorgeous, 6-foot wide sheet of paper with colourful boxes and pretty fonts and told to scratch together your budget using twistable pencil crayons and it still won’t make you fall in love with budgeting.
If you’re not detail-oriented and if numbers or facts don’t help you make sense of the world around you, budgeting will be similar to getting a painful bikini wax.
This is why our relationship with money is so screwed up…
We blame God because the money isn’t flowing. We blame the church for conditioning us with the wrong money advice. We blame family members and friends for taking advantage of our money generosity.
The blame, instead, lies with you. You’re continuing to do the things that you’re not good at when you should, instead, do more of the things that you’re really good at.
It’s not entirely your fault.
Our entire economy is built upon telling you what you’re doing wrong or what you’re missing in your life to encourage you to buy something to fix your shortcomings.
However, by focusing on our weaknesses, we will never experience freedom with our money or enjoy the blessings that God has in store for us (see Galatians 5:22-23).
So, I’m giving you permission not to budget…
Yup, you read that right. If you hate to budget, just don’t do it. Some of us LOVE budgeting and if that’s you, then offer it as a service and help others.
But the vast majority of us cannot and will not budget, no matter how much banks, financial planners and the government scare us into doing so.
If you’re not good at something, there’s no book or workshop in the world that will help you become better. Release what you’re not good at (budgeting), find someone who is good at it (outsource), then turn your attention on using your strengths to build God’s kingdom.
What say you?
Leave your comments, reactions and discoveries below.