Ten Budget Busters

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The book A Millionaire’s Common Sense Approach to Wealth by Dexter Yager lists ten reasons why people do not make their budget.  Here is the list as presented by Yager (with my short summary for each):                                                                   Photo by striatic

  1. A Lack of Training – some people simply don’t know how to budget
  2. Self-centeredness – not willing to give up something you want
  3. Laziness – not willing to spend the time or energy necessary
  4. Entitlement – you think you should be able to buy whatever you want
  5. Injured pride and embarrassment – means admitting there is a money problem
  6. Doubt – not sure you can make a budget work
  7. Arrogance – thinking ‘I don’t need help’
  8. Defeatism – just won’t work for you.  Never has and never will.
  9. Gloom and Doom – making budgeting a horribly oppressive activity
  10. Inertia – resistance to change.

If you currently do not keep a budget, I encourage you to identify which identifies the reason why you don’t budget.

Here’s what I think are the top three:

#1.  Inertia

Here are some more things Yager has to say about inertia:

Inertia, in physics, is the law that says if something is moving, it’s harder to stop it from moving, or if something is sitting still, it takes more energy to push it and get it going.

In layman’s terms we would say ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’.  I have recently been reading a few books about Internet usage.  Interestingly, they find that when surfing people would often rather do something the way they know than to learn a new way – even if the new way will save them time.  We prefer the known and comfortable to the unknown.

This means you might know that budgeting would be ‘better’ but it’s just not your way of doing it.  You would rather spend more than you earn than devote the time and energy necessary to control your spending.

If this is the reason why your budgets don’t work for you the only solution is time and resolve.  Unfortunately, your financial situation will likely get worse before it will get better.  Until you finally say, “I’m sick of this!  I need to figure out a better way.”  Then the door is finally opened to improve your financial situation.

#2     A lack of training

Budgeting does require technical skill.  It is not often taught in schools, homes, or churches.  I believe many people simply do not know how to budget or know the benefits of budgeting.  Previous attempts people have made may have often ended in failure as they tried budgeting in a way that did not fit their temperament.

If this is the reason why your budgets don’t work you must educate yourself about budgeting.  It’s not really complicated – you can do it.  The only way to combat a lack of training is with training.  If you follow this blog you will come across articles that assist you in budgeting.  At the homepage under categories simply click on the word ‘budgeting’ to see an available list of articles dealing with budgets.  For more information you can view Crown Financial Ministries articles on budgeting here.

#3  Entitlement

We buy because we think we deserve it.  It is becoming increasingly difficult to say no – to your wants and to your desires.  Credit has made everything accessible.  There is no need for patience in a credit based society.  You purchase when you want and you pay later, often over a lifetime.  Closely related to entitlement is self-centeredness.  We want what we do not have and think it would be unnecessary to wait and pay with cash.  So we borrow, thus busting our budget.

If this is the reason why your budgets don’t work you need to discipline yourself first by personal commitment.  First, commit to keeping and honoring your budget.  Learn to say no to yourself, your family, and whoever else puts a strain on your budget.  Second, use an external strategy that assists your personal commitment.  A perfect example would be the envelope system.  Put your budgeted money into envelopes where you can spend the money until it is gone, and then stop once the envelope is empty.

Which is a common budget buster for you?  Anyone have another factor that hinders their budgeting?


  1. says

    Man this is a great summary of budget failure. I can honestly say that until my mindset changed I suffered from all of the above. That is pretty bad but that was why we found ourselves in the mess we were in. It’s easier to be stubborn than it is to teach yourself new things.

    I will tweet this one for sure, thanks for sharing and I will definitely add this book to my must read list!
    .-= Brad @ EOD´s last blog ..Meal Planning Saves Time And Money =-.

    • Craig says

      @Brad It’s amazing how much personal finance is more about the ‘personal’ than the finance. Often attitude and action changes make the biggest difference. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. says

    Great post and summary! This could possibly fit into another category listed, but perhaps one other one Christians often fall prey to is the lack of realizing we are stewards of what God has given us.

    When we realize that this money isn’t ours anyways and that we will be held accountable for the way we used it that helps get our “minds right” in terms of setting up and sticking to a budget.
    .-= JT@RedeemingRiches´s last blog ..Setting Up a Financial Safety Net – Three Tier Cash Reserve =-.

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