5 Reasons You Probably Don’t Need A Budget In 2014

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Like A BossIt’s that time of year again. Time for the lame goals that everyone sets but never accomplishes. Time to join the gym (again). Time to get all pumped up for like 3 weeks before you settle back into “normal” life and keep doing whatever it was that you were doing before.

And the worst culprit of pretend goal-setting is “finally getting on a budget this year.” Or it’s close cousin, “going to stick to the budget this year.”

Who needs that crap? I don’t think you should even bother with it this year. Here are 5 reasons why you don’t need a budget in 2014.

1. Goals Are Just Too Hard. You’d Prefer Something Easier. Like ‘Not Goals’.

Budgets are inherently goal-centric, and are built to put a financial framework around the goals in your life. Think of a budget as the financial bumper-lanes to your daily spending, with flexibility and freedom to move around, but always directing you toward the goals. But goals are tough. Goals require you to stay focused on something for more than just a few SQUIRREL!!!

2. You Don’t Want To Know Where Your Money Is Going.

I’ve heard the quote “budgets are you telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went” from people like Dave Ramsey. But what do they know about money? I mean, who cares where it goes. Your money is spent where you want it to be spent, because hey, it’s your money. There’s no way you’re wasting money on crap that you don’t care about, right?

Plus, tracking where your money goes is too much work, and would take away from various activities such as finding the bottom of the Cheetos bag and scratching your backside for 20 minutes. Who has the time? If there was a program that would do it for you, you’d be all over it like Justin Bieber on autotune. But when you last tried to search for one, you got distracted by all the cats on the internet.

3. You Like To Live On The Edge! (of being broke)

All those newbs out there creating a plan for the future and saving money are just scared to live life on the edge. Don’t know if you can pay your mortgage next month? Invigorating! Wake up without hot water because you spent your utility money? SICK! Waiting for the next paycheck to come in so you can feed the dog? How exciting!

But what you don’t tell people is that living on the edge isn’t too scary….because you can charge stuff to your free-money card (credit card). You pay the minimum payment, so you’ve got it together more than you lead people to believe. BUT YOU STILL LIVE ON THE EDGE! GET SOME!

4. You Don’t Know How To Use A Computer. Or A Pencil And Paper. Or A Calculator. Also, Math Is Hard.

Maybe putting two and two together would give you a brain aneurism…..or be 5. Maybe looking at that digital contraption with numbers and symbols and such would make you go cross-eyed. Like this.

Cross Eyed

You can seem to get up every morning and usually put your pants on straight, but technology is too hard. And pencils are heavy. And you need to sharpen them. Where do you find a pencil sharpener anyway? Now you’re just sitting there with an unsharpened pencil, an empty bag of Cheetos and SQUIRREL!!!

5. You Want To Live Free And Budgets Are Too Restrictive.

A budget is like taking all the cake and ice cream out from under you on your 10th birthday in front of your friends just before you blow out the candles. They’re unfair. They’re just “too restrictive” and “take away all the freedom” you worked so hard for. Budgets are a buzzkill.

Nevermind that they can literally save you THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS this year. Nevermind that Jacob has literally saved someone over $6,000 a month by getting them on a budget and they still had their weed money. Nevermind that the only true way to financial freedom is directing your money towards what really matters to you, and you will continue to waste money on ridiculous crap until to create a freaking budget plan and start caring about life.


Nevermind all that, because freedom means doing what YOU want to do. Freedom means your money going toward your priorities, not toward things you don’t like, creating goals and reverse engineering them so you ACTUALLY HIT THEM, creating a financial buffer so you don’t have to stress about money, and planning ahead to make sure you continue to enjoying the freedom you have built.

And that’s the key. Freedom feels a lot like hard work, but is enjoyed infinitely more than laziness (aka fake freedom). You need to build your freedom, enjoy the fruits of your labor and keep focused on those important things in life that drive you (even if there are squirrels around).

And it all starts with a simple budget.

So, what do you say? Will you join the masses in creating lame resolutions that you don’t actually plan on keeping, or will you create a budget and enjoy kicking butt in 2014…?

photo credit: carterse via photopin cc

Jacob Wade

Jacob Wade

Jacob Wade has been a nationally-recognized personal finance expert for the past decade. He has written professionally for The Balance, The Spruce, LendingTree, Investing Answers, and other widely-followed sites. 
He’s also been a featured expert on CBS News, MSN Money, Forbes, Nasdaq, Yahoo! Finance, Go Banking Rates, and AOL Finance.

In 2018, Jacob quit his job and his family decided to sell everything (including their home) to take off on an adventure. They traveled the country in an RV for nearly 3 years, visiting over 38 states, 20+ national parks and eventually settling in the sunshine state!

45 thoughts on “5 Reasons You Probably Don’t Need A Budget In 2014”

    • You are going to absolutely love not having a budget. More time for doing awesome things like forgetting to pay your bills, getting collections calls, and having your car repo’d. Livin’ the dream, man, livin’ the dream!

  1. Budgets totally are freedom! I think that people get nervous because they think a budget will be like a diet. When I first started budgeting I was actually amazed by how much more money I had (when I stopped spending it on crap I didn’t need and started saving it for stuff I really wanted).

  2. This is the very first post I’ve read on your blog. That was fantastic! Fighting laziness is probably the number one reason I don’t budget. Happy new year!

    • Askevi, thanks for dropping by. Laziness infects us all to some degree, but it’s lame compared to the fruitful bounty of a well executed financial plan. Here’s to rockin’ a budget in 2014!

    • But the fact that you are ‘making sure you don’t get out of control’ means you are USING the budget 🙂

      Budgets are financial roadmaps, guideposts for your epic financial adventure. They are as flexible as a gymnast, and can change at the drop of a hat.

      If you aren’t following it, it means the numbers are unrealistic, or you are spending money in places you don’t actually want it to go. 🙂

  3. The title of this confused me greatly before I started reading. I thought you had joined the dark side of us non-budget-havers!

    I do a relaxed version of budgeting. I move bill money to a bills account, keep $800 a month in my primary checking for food, gas, entertainment, and misc., and pay the rest towards debt (or deposit it into savings). It’s a very chill system.

  4. When I read the post title I thought to myself hhhmmm as a financial planner I think that everyone needs a budget but maybe that is just my in the box mentality. But now after reading the post I see that I am normal because everyone needs a budget.

  5. Ha ha! Great satire Jacob! I didn’t think you yanks had it in you 😉

    Followed by an awesome call to action at the end there. If I didn’t have a budget already I would be rip roaring my way through making one right now! Now I’m all fired up with nowhere to go though! Have to go for a run in the cold rain instead! Thanks! 🙂

      • Got back about an hour ago, drenched! It wasn’t your fault really just part of my January challenge I set myself (see link below!). Yea loving the sarcasm! Someone once said it’s the lowest form of humour but I completely disagree.

  6. I like what Erin said about relaxed budgeting, which is what we do. I don’t track ever single penny, and I likely never will but I have a system in place that works just fine for us which includes accounting for everything yet is flexible enough to allow for small changes, with our varying income, it works for us.

    • A system and a plan to hit goals is all that is needed. I like details because I can make more informed decisions, but that is not required of a budget. Now, I do suggest tracking every penny when starting out, so you know where ALL your money is going. Once you get into a groove, though, don’t stress too much about it, but just make sure you’re on track to hit those big, awesome goals 🙂

  7. I do the “no budget” budget, which is great for lazy people like me (and, with money coming in and out in 4 currencies and countries with no mint it can be a pain): money comes in, bills are paid automatically, savings/repairs/holiday funds are taken out automatically, whatever is left is what you have for food and fun for the month, when it’s gone, it’s gone. If there is more left at the end of the month, it goes into savings as well or add up for more food and fun next month. Works for me with minimum effort.

  8. Pingback: Friday Faves: Movies, WiFi and Decisions for 2014 | Blonde & Balanced

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