Emotion: Where Budgeting Misses the Point

Aug 15

A lot of people are under the impression that having a budget, or being able to create a budget, is all they need in order to get ahead of their finances. In reality, this is not the case for most of us. People fail with their finances because money is far more emotional than any budget might suggest. It’s one thing to write out a budget, it’s another thing to stick to a budget for the long haul.

I recently saw an interview where Mint.com founder, Aaron Patzer, claimed people will automatically adjust their behaviours for the better if they simply knew where they spent their money. I know from firsthand experience that this is not usually the case. We may feel a bit shell-shocked when we first add up all the money we’ve spent at Starbucks, but those feelings dissipate over time. Before we know it, we are standing in line for a White Mocha Frappuccino once again.

Financial guru, Dave Ramsey tells people that financial management involves 20% head knowledge and 80% behavioural change. He couldn’t be more on the money, so to speak.

It’s true that knowing where your money is going, and then figuring out a budget, is of upmost importance. It needs to be done. This alone, however, misses the main point or ingredient; that which is the will-power and motivation needed to change your course, and the determination to keep going after experiencing only minor successes, or when the effort gets old altogether.

How can a Personal Financial Trainer help?

Budgets use one, main, straightforward calculation: If you spend less than you make, you will save money. If you spend more than you make, you will incur debt.

If budgeting is so easy to figure out, though, why are so many Canadians in debt? Because the simple math doesn’t address, solve, or provide an answer to the complex emotions related to our spending.

Our strong desires, sometimes aided and abetted by a weakened state of mind, will encourage us to throw our budgets out the window (and we do).

In order to succeed, you need more than just the numbers and simple advice. You need someone that will give you the support, empowerment, and accountability when times get tough.

This is where we come in. We work with you week after week, quite literally, until your finances are in tip-top shape. And when emotionally driven decisions inevitably appear, we are at your side, ready to listen, and help you tap into a very different set of emotions – the gratification that comes with saving and making your future more secure – to get you back on track as quickly as possible.

About The Author

Hi, I'm Avraham (pronounced Av-Rum.) I'm a reformed spender, financial coach, and the founder of Avraham Byers Financial (I'm better with money than coming up with company names.) In a funny and non-preachy way, I teach people how to take control of their finances without giving up their smoked butterscotch lattes.
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