Why Most Budgeting Tips Are Inaccurate

by Josh Biggs in Finance on 24th September 2019

Improper Direction

Many people get into debt because they’re convinced that through careful borrowing, they can support the sort of lifestyle they desire. The problem is TANSTAAFL: There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. Social programs, taxation, and borrowing tend to lead societies toward economic bubbles which naturally collapse given time. Budgets based on such practices will be less than effective.

One of the biggest reasons you’ll encounter vast repositories of terrible budgeting advice owes to secondary motive. Many budgeting advice columns are funded by credit agencies who are looking to give readers a motive that prompts them into further debt. Essentially, there’s budgeting advice incorporating means of living beyond the reader’s means.

The key to having a good budget can be summed up in several sentiments: “live within your means”, and “waste not, want not”. Also, “do what you can with what you have where you are”. If you’ve got debt, there are still ways to budget for profitability in time, but many people have been tricked by fictitious ideals.

As a matter of fact, it turns out the majority of individuals from many first-world countries are disastrously in debt. Americans, on average, are personally in debt as much as $38,000.

Following Good Advice

Getting out of debt requires eschewing bad advice and embracing good advice. If you’re in debt now, consolidation into a single payment can reduce total interest from multiple smaller debts, allowing you to pay less over time. This can potentially cut what you would otherwise pay in half. Regardless of consolidation, you need to think about paying off all you owe.

First, determine what that number is. Second, determine how it may or may not expand given interest. Third, determine what your baseline monthly income is before extraneous spending. Fourth, determine what your necessities are, and where you can “cut the fat”. Fifth, take what’s left and put it toward debt until you’ve got it paid off.

You may additionally partition a small amount for collateral savings, and this is wise—but be careful. If you do so and you’re too deep in debt, you’re just making a cache that will be depleted by debtors when you come up short.

A Hypothetical Budget Scenario
So this process spread across a real budget may look like this: you’re pulling in, hypothetically, $3,000 a month. You’ve got a debt of $20k once you calculate interest over the next five years. You’ve got rent or a mortgage at about $1,500 a month, you’ve got food and gas at about $750 and $250 for emergencies. That leaves $500.

If you pay that much in every month, you’ll have the debt paid off in three years and three months, saving you twenty months’ interest. Going this route could have the whole thing paid off in three and a third years, after which time you can put that $500 into savings every month. Do it this way, you can pay off a compound debt of $20k and have $10k in savings at the end of five years, provided no terrible unexpected emergencies transpire.

Finding The Right Professional Assistance
Certainly this is a hypothetical, but you get the idea. If you want to increase your means, live beneath your means, waste nothing, and do what you can with what you have where you are. The key is to get out of debt so you can put your money toward something which compounds it.

If you find yourself in need of budgeting advice, click on the hyperlink for more top-tier information of this kind. You have the power to get out of debt. You’ve got to budget properly. Avoid advice that puts you deeper in debt, instead, if you need assistance, work with professionals who have made it their business to get you financially stable. 

Categories: Finance