All About Budgets | Reader Questions

10 Reasons Why Budgets Work!

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Budgets work, and I will explain why we’ve successfully used one to help us become debt free before turning 40.

If you’re not ready for a budget because someone told you they suck or are worthless, think again.

Any time we fail at something, it’s easy to throw in the towel, and the reality is negativity can come from failure.

If you haven’t tried budgeting, don’t knock it until you give it a shot.

Listening to feedback from others about their financial woes may deter you from making the best life decision.

Decide to know where your money is going without outside negative influence.

Is a budget going to work? Let’s explore the pros and cons and why they fail.

10 Reasons Why Budgets Work
10 Reasons Why Budgets Work

How Do You Know If A Budget Works?

Dear Mr. CBB,

A friend tried using your budget spreadsheet and said it was too much work.

She also said that budgets suck and they aren’t worth taking the time to fill them out.

I’ve never used a budget before, and as I head off to University this Fall, I wanted to test how they work.

I’m worried because she had nothing positive to say about budgeting.

How do you know whether a budget works, and what should I do?


Christine H.

St. Catharines, Ontario

Make Finance Decisions Based On Your Experience

Thanks for your question Christine and I’m sorry your friend is struggling with budgeting.

Your inquiry is timely as we enter the summer and kids will return to school in the Fall.

Finances in higher education are so important because it’s costly in the real world.

Most young adults transition from living with their parents to having to pay for stuff they never had before.

That can be scary for anyone, but we all go through it and survive somehow.

Why do you need a budget?

You need a budget for many reasons, although not everyone is prepared for one.

Budgeting is not always practical for everyone because it takes a certain mindset for them to work.

I know this because years before I created the CBB spreadsheet, I did not incline to use a budget.

I’ll explain to you and other readers why a budget works for us and the pitfalls we’ve experienced.

Thanks for sending me your question.


Finances Are Learned Habits

Why would I need a budget?

I was already frugal-minded and was spending little on essentials and paying my mortgage.

My parents managed their money similarly, so why would I do anything differently?

Often our mindset around money circles back to childhood and upbringing.

Children learn from their parents or caregivers how to manage money just by watching.

As kids age, they learn more about earning, spending, and paying debt based on their knowledge.

Either parent has guided their children in the right financial direction or offered nothing.

Some kids grow up watching parents counting their last dollars on the coffee table.

Whatever is left after paying bills goes to groceries, and that’s how money comes and goes.

I understand money from this perspective since I lived this way in university.

It’s a rotten way to have to wake up every day, but the reality

Budgets Work For Those Who Want Them To

I’m nearly 12 years into budgeting and can safely say that budgets work and can help anyone realize their financial dreams.

Below is a new budget binder printable to help you appreciate how a budget works.

Write or type a line each month about how your budget helped you.


January – My budget helped me pay off my Canadian Tire Credit Card.

February– I realized I was spending too much on groceries, so now I will track my expenses.

The pdf printable for this photo is on my free finance printables page.

Self Appreciation Activity Printable Why Budgets Work
Self-Appreciation Activity Printable Why Budgets Work

1. Motivation

As a child, when I learned to ride my tricycle, that motivated me to work towards a bike.

After riding my bike for years, I wanted to drive a car, and I practiced, learned the rules of the road, and did the test.

I was nervous about whether I would pass or fail, which is normal, and just like that, I had a driver’s licence.

My succession over the years motivated me to do better to achieve the next level.

With a budget, they should push you to keep going once you see the benefits.

Remember, the benefits are the results of your direct dedication to budgeting.

2. Stress Relief

This one is huge on our list of why budgets work because money causes stress when insufficient.

Knowing that bills are coming due and shuffling money month to month will be a thing of the past.

Use a budget, stay focused, get organized, reduce debt, and welcome stress relief.

You’re not even waiting until your debt free to feel the release of stress because that begins with budgeting.

A budget can make a world of difference to your mental health, even if you struggle to balance it.

Eventually, you’ll figure out a plan, but dialing a budget works for the sake of toning down the stress.

3. Financial Organization

Budgeting means no more searching for numbers, paperwork, receipts, and bills.

You’re taking a whirlwind of information that is critical to financial stability and organizing it.

Like clearing clutter from your home or downsizing a closet, the feeling of tidiness is how I could describe this.

4. You’re In Control

Being in control of your money allows you to move numbers as you see fit.

Having the flexibility to modify your budget based on trends, net income increase/decrease, and debt repayment.

5. Savings Power

Budgeting your money allows you to save more money based on your actions.

For example, if you earn money on the side blogging or by using cash-back apps, grocery apps, or selling items, you can dump it where it can make money.

When I started earning $1000 monthly from this blog, the money went into our savings and building my community.

Ideally, you’d want to pay off debt before starting a serious savings plan besides emergency savings.

I feel that putting a bit aside for times when you need the extra money is essential.

6. Debt Freedom

The beginning of a budgeting journey can be depressing because of the debt load.

Don’t let that hinder your short- and long-term gains from using a budget.

You’ll be happy you started once you see the debt weight falling off.

Over time, your budget will work its magic along with your perseverance, and you’ll achieve your goals.

Be positive and don’t give up in the face of adversity because when one door closes, another opens.

Successful people learn from failure because without it, how would they know how to proceed?

7. Budgets Are Simple

They are simple once you get the hang of your budget and have a plan.

Budgeting utilizes basic math; if it’s not great, you can use a calculator.

Being nervous about starting a budget may get in the way of success.

It’s ok to be nervous, but don’t let it get the best of you.

8. You Own It

If you mess up a month of budgeting, own it and move on.

I’ve said numerous times that budgeting isn’t always a walk in the park, but anything is better than debt collectors or being homeless.

Move past frustrations, find a solution, and make changes so the issue doesn’t happen again.

Stay positive because you will make your budget work for you instead of against you.

9. Budgets Are Free

Please don’t ever pay to use a budget because there are loads online that are free.

Also, the financial institution that you belong to likely has a free budgeting app you can use.

Don’t waste money trying to save and help someone else get rich.

10. Knowledge IS Power

If I asked you how much money you earned, could you tell me?

What is the exact number of debt you owe?

Could you write each investment you contribute to on a piece of paper?

My point here is knowing your overall financial picture is critical to the success of a budget.

Knowledge will always bring you power in finance or other aspects of your life.

Never stop learning, even if you think you’ve mastered something.

A budget never ends, even after you become debt-free.

Control Your Finances The Way You Want

Overall, there are three main reasons why budgets won’t work.

  • The debt-to-income ratio is high, and the user must earn more or spend less.
  • It’s the wrong budget for the user.
  • The user is not using the budget as intended, thus deeming it a failure.

Budgets work provided the effort is put into them, but the user must be realistic.

No budget balances on its own, so if you’re not earning enough money to pay your debt and it’s frustrating, it’s not the budget’s fault.

Budgets work and will continue to work for those who want to get rid of debt forever.

Thanks for reading,


Discussion: What negative feedback have you heard about budgets?

Please leave your comments in the section below.

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