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Budgeting For a Quick Fix

By: Steve Johnson

2/11/2008 - 33 Comments

Money problems come from a variety of reasons.  Maybe you lost your job, over used your credit cards, unexpected medical bills, paid too much for your dream home or any number of other reasons.

Most of us wait until we have a money problem before thinking about budgeting.  Why should you – unless you have a problem, right?  Most of us avoid budgeting because we are comfortable with the way we live and budgeting will very likely force us into a lifestyle change.

Budgeting is not a quick fix, although most of us would like it to be.  Budgeting can help you prevent a problem in the first place, but once you are in major financial trouble – budgeting is probably not going to bail you out. 

Budgeting Requires Effort

Most people don’t like budgeting because it requires sacrifice and discipline. The reward is to lower your financial stress and provide a better future for your family.  But, some people aren’t willing to sacrifice, no matter what the rewards.

When the economy is growing and unemployment is low, few people bother with budgeting.  Even during a short recession, few people bother with a budget.  Its only when someone runs into a money problem, do they start looking for ways to setup a budget.  The problem is that they are usually in major financial trouble by then.

Budgeting is not as easy as applying for another credit card. Budgeting takes practice to get good at it. You can’t just start one day and expect your money pile up the next.

Reference article: Budgeting Is Not As Easy As They Say


One of the most compelling reasons to budget is to build a saving account – for a rainy day when you need it.  Today the savings rate in the US is negative 0.5%, a clear indication of how many people are budgeting - nobody. 

The Return of the Budget

The US has just lived through the most prosperous time in its history, resulting in very few families that budget.  Most people don’t even balance their checkbook or know how much money they have in the bank.  As long as they have more money or credit to spend, they spend it.

My grandfather lived through the Great Depression and had a budget until the day he died.  People will only return to a budget if they have to.  The length of the coming recession just might be the catalyst to return families to once again live within their means and manage their money with a budget.  The double-digit inflation within the next few years will surely return families to a budget.  Budgeting software will fly off the shelves – as people look for the quick fix.

A better approach would be to start budgeting today, while you still have a good job.  Then, as the recession grows worse, you will be much better prepared.  If you need help, Crown Financial Ministries is one of the largest national financial support networks in the world.  They offer financial classes in every major city across America. If you're serious about starting a budget, I suggested finding a class in your area. You can find a local representative from their website:

Here is an easy tool for creating a budget, Free Budgeting Tool.

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