Can I ask you a question?
Why do so many people think that being on a budget means being poor?
I’ve had many people comment about my frugality. Mostly it’s in a positive way like, “Ask Cat. She’s good with money.” However, there are times when I feel as though people are a bit weirded out by my whole budgeting thing. Perhaps it’s because I’m very comfortable talking about money and an advocate for talking about money because I believe it’s important. Most people are very uncomfortable with these topics, and that’s okay. However, I’m a proponent of financial literacy so I have no problem talking about when I succeed with money and when I fail with it too.
If I’m allowed to throw in my two cents (it’s my blog after all), I’d like to encourage everyone to think in this way about budgeting instead:
Being on a budget means you’re smart. Not poor.
Everyone from little ol’ me to Bill Gates should have a budget. This doesn’t mean being stingy or not being generous. All a budget entails is writing down where you want your money to go every month, and then sitting down at the end of it to see where it actually did go and adjusting accordingly.
Furthermore, when you ask a friend to go to lunch with you, and they say, “Sorry. I’m on a budget,” that doesn’t necessarily mean they are struggling to make it. Maybe they just have great self control and know that they’ve already used up their “eating out” category for the month. People like this – like me – often have big goals that they want to achieve instead, and sometimes, saying no to the little things energizes them. Why? Well, it just means that we are one step closer to the goal we actually want.
People who budget have a good sense of the future. They aren’t tempted by day-to-day wants.
I acknowledge that the way that I am is a little different. I get exhilarated when I come in under budget. I love watching my “Europe Travel Fund” grow. I do splurge every now and then and can’t go into the grocery without buying a bottle of nice wine, but I say no to more things than the average person.
I may be a bit of a nerd. I may be a bit weird. But, the things that I am not are struggling, poor, and stingy. I’m just a gal on a budget who tips well and likes wine and cheese.
What about you?