When you hear the cliché, 'living paycheck to paycheck', your mind immediately forms a word cloud of terms like poor, irresponsible, and unreliable.
But that's wildly unfair, as there are a large number of households that bring in a significant income, yet still play the "Can we survive to the next payday" game. In fact, CBS'S Money Watch found one-third of American homes that rake in over $75,000 live paycheck to paycheck.
So a single mother of three earning $50,000 a year and a family earning $20,000 a month can find themselves in similar payday-to-payday lifestyles, which leads to one common factor: living paycheck to paycheck isn't a question of income.
Rather, the paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle can be pointed to the simple fact these families or individuals likely have no budget to control their spending. Regardless of income, reckless spending is reckless spending. Trying to navigate through life's expenses sans-budget is like driving a car without a fuel gauge - there's no track of where that fuel, or money, is being spent (or wasted).
There's no excuse to not have a budget, either. They're extremely simple to create on your own, which you can do through our very own Beginner's Guide to Creating a Realistic Financial Plan.
Having said that, we've heard every excuse in the book as to why people don't use a budget. These are some of our favourite (and lamest) excuses used to avoid creating a personal budget.
1. I'm terrible with numbers.
This could be the most common excuse to elude creating a budget. Budgeting isn't a complex mathematical process in which a team of mathematicians must be deployed - it actually requires minimal skill, if any.
Let's see if you can pass our Budgeting Exam:
Benjamin has five chickens. Benjamin gets hungry, and eats one chicken. How many chickens does Benjamin have?
If your answer was four - congratulations! You have the capacity to create a budget.
2. But then I can't buy what I want.
This falls towards the 'totally lame' end of the spectrum. If you've grown up spending frivolously on stuff you want, without waiting to save for it, chances are someone covered the cost.
But now it's your money and purchases, so it's your responsibility now. No one will clean up your mess if you're constantly overspending, digging yourself deeper into debt.
In addition to learning how to budget, you'll need to learn about being patient about significant purchases - be realistic about what you can afford!
3. Ain't nobody got time to budget.
The first time you create a monthly budget, it'll take you maybe an hour, two at the most. You'll need to go through bank statements, old bills, and discuss money management with your spouse, so it'll take a bit of time to get everything in order.
After creating that initial budget, your next one will take half as long. The third time, it'll take even less. Once your budgeting routine is clockwork, you won't find yourself spending more than 5-10 minutes on your monthly budget.
We mean, the average adult watches 140 hours of television per month...so Excuse #3, meet brick wall.
I'm budgeting, I'm budgeting... it's all in my head.
Home mortgage. Groceries. Utilities. Gas. Car payments. Credit card payments. Daycare. Gym membership. Take out orders. Swimming lessons. Student loan. Auto insurance. Another student loan. Life insurance. Cell phone bill. Clothes. Tuition. Rent. Gifts. Auto repairs. Lunch.
We're sure your budget is very well organized, and you're on top of every expense with that Alex Mullen-like memory of yours.
It's hard to argue that budgeting is boring, we'll concede there.
But do you know what's more boring that budgeting? Sitting in a chair, staring at basic cable TV all day, because that's all you can afford to do.
While it can be seen as a small chore, the upside and benefits of a monthly budget is worth sacrificing a bit of excitement for.
We think brushing our teeth is boring too, but we'd rather be stuck with a mouthful of toothpaste for a few minutes every day than looking like Austin Powers in his prime.
There are a variety of personal finance options you can utilize towards creating a personal budget. Budgeting tools, like a budget calculator, can compliment our budgeting tips to get you saving responsibly!
If you're looking for a bit of help in stabilizing your money management, Magical Credit offers short-term loans for anyone with a steady source of income - even if you have bad credit history. Our cash loans range from $2,000-$10,000.
Fill out our online application today to see if you qualify!