5 Reasons NOT to Budget

October 19, 2016

I know this will take many of you by surprise but, I’ve been thinking about some reasons why NOT to budget. With minimal or rather no ado, I introduce them…now:

  1. You love the stress of tight finances. The tighter the better, you say!
  2. You relish the thrill of wondering how much money you really have in that ol’ checking account of yours. It’s even more fun if you have complicated accounts and don’t know how much unspoken-for money is in each of them.
  3. You cherish the thrill of the moments you realize you do actually have enough money to cover the annual Amazon Prime membership fee and the utility you forgot was being deducted on such-and-such date if you put just the teeny-weeny remainder of your monthly household expenses (food & fuel…for 8 days…) on the credit card.
  4. You like your financial situation exactly as it is and have no plans to do more or see more or give more or enjoy more. You don’t reallywant to do the things on your bucket list like see the Great Wall of China or live like Santa Claus (meaning you live generously, not that you wear baggy red suits and eat candy canes).
  5. It is a total time-suck and will take away from the other important pursuits of your life. Like Facebook and Instagram and celebrity news and what’s that game every plays these days?…still Candy Crush? and searching for the perfect pair of shoes online (I may or may not be pointing a finger at myself with this last one. IF I were in FACT pointing the finger at myself, I would’ve finally settled on a pair of neon yellow trail runners that are awesome. And came out of my Clothing & Luxuries budget. This is possibly hypothetical.)

This is obviously very tongue-in-cheek and I’m 100% kidding. I honestly think that budgeting is almost a spiritual recipe for happiness, regardless of how much money you make. It’s brought more satisfaction, better discipline and more gratitude to my life, cut down on my “needs”, and surfaced more miracles. I dare you to think of the reasons you give yourself as to why you can’t/don’t need to/don’t want to budget and then think again:) So many good things are in store for you if you do.

There are countless books and motivational speakers that advocate for thinking really big when it comes to wealth and would likely accuse budgeting of breeding a “scarcity mentality”. But is that a terrible thing? Is it a bad thing to be happy on less than $100K per year? It is a bad thing to not be able to afford everything your marketed-to-heart desires? Is it a bad thing to experience some of what so many in the world experience, which is (in a lot of cases) a sense of JOY with having and thus needing so little?

Earlier in my really awesome list I talked about charity and doing more good with your money. A lot of us, certainly including myself, could do better. I’ve realized just how easy it is to slip back into materialist tendencies – not that I’ve gone CRAZY with spending or blown the budget (I haven’t done either) and not that buying any items is bad – but that I can get back to minimal and content-with-what-I-have again. And live tight so that I can be more generous sooner. Speaking of giving, a favorite author of mine said:

“I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc, is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.” C.S. Lewis

I would elaborate a little – even though it feels like potentially bad judgment to elaborate on such a brilliant writer as Mr. Lewis – and wonder aloud whether a simple, intentional life ends up doing the heavy lifting of choosing for us where our money goes by virtue of the fact that we want fewer THINGS for ourselves, we are content with our SITUATION and SELVES, and choose to spend less time with people and things and environments that try to convince we don’t have enough, aren’t wearing the things and doing the things and decorating our houses like we “should” because we’re occupied with lives of intention and trying to do good. And trying to learn to break run-on sentences into more digestible sentences:)

Want more pieces like this one? Explore everything written pre-Substack here, and to get the latest in your inbox, join hundreds of others receiving the More to Your Life  

It's a newsletter for dreamers about work, money, and living a life of purpose, connection, and adventure.

No spam around here, just emails you hopefully thoroughly enjoy. Unsubscribe at any time.