Dave Ramsey: 10 Budgeting Myths That Are Costing You Money

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mark Humphrey/AP/Shutterstock (6378435j)Dave Ramsey Financial talk show host Dave Ramsey works in his broadcast studio in Brentwood, Tenn.
Mark Humphrey/AP/Shutterstock / Mark Humphrey/AP/Shutterstock

Personal finance expert Dave Ramsey is familiar with all sorts of financial myths. He has debunked retirement myths and myths about money only poor people believe are true. Now, he’s taking a closer look at the top budgeting myths on his website Ramsey Solutions.

From thinking you don’t have time to budget to finding a budget to be too restrictive, here are the 10 budgeting myths that are costing you money.

1. I Don’t Have Enough Time To Budget

One of the biggest budgeting myths is budgeting takes too much time.

While the post on Ramsey Solutions does mention you might spend a few hours a month listing your expenses, this is only applicable once you start budgeting. It becomes much easier, and not at all time-consuming, to do the math afterward.

2. I’m Not Good at Math

Thinking you’re not good at math is not an excuse to avoid creating a budget. 

According to Ramsey Solutions, the most math you’ll need to do when assembling your budget is at a third-grade level. Essentially, it is your income minus the money you spend which needs to equal zero.

3. It’s Boring To Budget

Do you know what’s fun? Being debt-free. You can reach this place with the help of your budget, which works to help you get out of debt.

Make Your Money Work for You

4. I Can Budget in My Head

Don’t fall for this budgeting myth. The post on Ramsey Solutions said a budget in your head is less of a budget and more of a vague understanding of thinking you know how much money you’re spending. 

Instead of relying on your memory bank to budget every month, track everything in a physical spreadsheet or app.

5. I Budget by Keeping Track of Everything I Spend

You’re only tracking spending and that’s not a budget. 

According to Ramsey Solutions, your budget is your game plan. It’s your plan for what you’ll do with your money which hasn’t been spent over the upcoming months. Those who only track spending look to the past month, not the upcoming months ahead for their future spending. 

6. Budgets Are Too Restrictive

Not at all. If you want to keep your pizza night or morning latte, you need to make a line in your budget for it. 

Add the small splurges you enjoy to your budget every month. You’ll find there’s plenty of freedom, not restriction, in spending your money. 

7. Why Budget When There Are Unexpected Expenses?

The truth about many unexpected expenses is they are not always unexpected. A few examples of these include birthday parties or car registration fees: moments we know to anticipate every year. Your budget can help you plan for these moments.

For the truly unexpected costs which catch you off guard, the post on Ramsey Solutions recommends adding a miscellaneous category into your monthly budget. This category may be dipped into if an unexpected cost arises.

Make Your Money Work for You

8. My Budget Won’t Let Me Go Out To Eat!

It’s a major budgeting myth that a budget restricts your ability to eat out and requires you to cook. You can still go out to eat, but you need to budget for it. Simply add a column for any fast food you enjoy and/or a date night or night out line into your budget. However, you should not go out to eat until you know you have enough room in your budget to do it.

9. Now’s Not the Right Time To Budget

There are no good excuses for putting off a budget. Right now might not be the “best” time, but the sooner you can start budgeting, the sooner you’ll pay off debt and be able to save your money to meet your financial goals.

10. I Make a Lot of Money

If you make a lot of money, you might believe you don’t need a budget. This isn’t true. Everyone, from those with just $100 to their name to millionaires, needs to tell their money where to go. Creating a budget accomplishes exactly that task.

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