Budgeting 101: Budget Is Not A Four Letter Word


Budget, Budget, Budget. Diet, Diet, Diet. I’m going to keep saying these words until they lose their scariness factor.

Why? Because, many people hear these words and a wall goes up, their listening mechanism shuts off and they tune out. To them “budget” is a four letter word similar to “diet;” indicating a need to cut out everything good in life in an effort to shed some extra weight. But that isn’t what budgeting (or dieting) means.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines a budget as:

1. An itemized summary of probable expenditures and income for a given period.
2. The sum of money allocated for a particular purpose or period of time.
3. To plan in advance the expenditure of.

These definitions say nothing of being cheap, limited or depriving yourself. However, that’s the preconceived notion so many have of living on a budget. They think it means being limited to thrift store clothing, off brand foods and a life with no outside entertainment. While there is nothing wrong with the items above (except for a life of no fun) I’m here to prove to you that living on a budget can be fulfilling, exciting and help you achieve your financial goals.

As any nutritionists worth their salt will tell you, the best way to reach a weight loss goal is to make sustainable lifestyle changes and healthy choices. That’s all a budget is, a lifestyle change to begin making wise choices with your money. Choosing to make a plan, stick to it and do something purposeful with your money.

Have I convinced you that a budget isn’t a scary thing? I bet your wondering how to get started. Well, just like with dieting, in order to know where you’re going, and what adjustments to make, you must first know where you’ve been. The next post in these series of Budgeting 101 will outline the necessity of tracking your spending.


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