“Once upon a time, a recent grad created a budget at the start of the year and saved like a boatload of money.”
Okay, budgeting might not be quite so fantastical, but these days, it seems like there’s more myth than truth out there about the realities of creating and balancing a budget. Surprisingly, you might find that most of the ideas you’ve been told about budgeting belong in a fairy tale and that the reality is a lot more realistic to achieve.
Budget Myth 1: It’s Hard to Make One
Thankfully, there are a lot of places that can help you build a personal budget based on your unique situation. Using the budgeting resources from CIBC JOURNEY ADVICE™, for example, are a quick way to get started and stay on track.
It’s not daunting when you realize that all having a good budget really amounts to is getting a better sense of the money you actually have, to ensure that you’re using it all wisely.
Budget Myth 2: It Takes Too Long to Maintain
Not at all. In fact, there are all sorts of helpful resources to aid you in this from downloading apps like the CIBC Mobile Banking® App to setting up your credit card payments to sort based on what they’re for.
And the end of each month, it just takes a few minutes to see if your expenses aren’t too far off from your estimates. If you did, in fact, exceed your estimates, then either adjust your initial budget or identify where to spend less next month. It if worked, just keep doing what you’re doing. Easy-peasy.
Budget Myth 3: You’re Already Saving Enough Money
In the immortal words of Lil Wayne, “Too much money ain’t enough money”. Point is, there’s always something worth saving up for, whether it’s a more reasonable goal like a new place to live or an extravagance like a private jet. And since you probably don’t have a private jet yet, that’s proof that you could always be saving more.
Budget Myth 4: It’s Not the Right Time
Going from high school to post-secondary to full-time work are some pretty huge transitions, each with its own financial challenges.
As you begin a new chapter in life, it’s important to set good spending habits from the beginning. Hopefully, you’ll have more money coming in than ever, so it’s important to build towards the things you need right now and maybe even some of the stuff you want (see above mention of a private jet) in addition to setting some aside for your future.
Budget Myth 5: You Need to Be Good at Math
Fake news. Budgeting is basically as simple as creating a list of fixed costs and variable expenses. Fixed costs are things like rent and phone bills that don’t change. Variable expenses are things like groceries and going out with friends that can fluctuate in cost each month.
Total them up and compare them to the money you have coming in. Obviously, you don’t want these expenses to exceed your monthly income. If that’s the case, go back and reevaluate if some of those variable expenses are necessary. With some simple addition and subtraction, you’ve got a workable budget.
Budget Myth 6: You Don’t Need One
You likely already know that budgeting is a little more nuanced than “stop buying so much avocado toast” or “make your iced coffee at home”.
The reality is that the world is getting more expensive by the day. You shouldn’t have to scrimp and save every dollar just to get by and a budget is a great way of ensuring that you can afford the essentials and still enjoy some of the money you’re working hard to earn.
Budget Myth 7: You’re On Your Own to Make One
With easy and customizable online and mobile tools, CIBC Journey Advice can help you track your progress towards your goals in real-time, in addition to offering you personalized spending insights. You can even set up mobile alerts with easy tips on everything from saving to budgeting to reducing debt with the CIBC mobile app
Digital resources are great but real human support can offer you even more personalized nuance in how to spend and save. Consider what working with aCIBC Journey Advisor could offer you in return.
Lastly, you might already be in a better place financially than you realize. Take the new investing quiz to make more sense of your goals and get a chance to win $1,000 to start working towards achieving them.
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.