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Budgets Are The New ‘Diets’

Fair warning: if you’re a huge fan of budgets, this may rattle your feathers.

Now, with that out of the way…budgets are USELESS. They are an absolute waste of time, akin to weighing yourself everyday as a measure of health progress. It just doesn’t accomplish much other than to indulge some strange finance fetish and, if you’re already going through the tedious process of writing up a budget, chances are you don’t need one in the first place.

Look, if you’re looking to change what you eat for health reasons (shout out to those who cut out gluten, like me!), the best way to do it is not to subscribe to a diet. Why? Because diets are temporary by nature. They promise that, if you alter your habits for only a set period of time, you’ll achieve the results you want. And, while this may be true, everyone knows that when you end the diet, the food you gave up is finding its way right back in your fridge.

Same goes for budgets. You set one up, track every purchase or spend meticulously on your app or, if you’re real old-fashioned, a notebook. It’s great, you learn so much about yourself, right? Sure…but we all know what happens the second you stop ‘budgeting’. The moment you miss one day of tracking, and then two.

YOU FLY OFF THE RAILS AND IT’S TIME FOR ANOTHER SHOPPING SPREE!

Okay, maybe I went a little overboard, but you get the point.

Like diets, budgets only work for a short period. That’s why we need a shift in lifestyle.

What is lifestyle, you ask? Simply put, it’s a worldview. A way of carrying yourself in all aspects of your day-to-day, and not just with food, or finances, or any one part of your life. It’s the whole, and as such, it will fundamentally change you.

In finance terms, it’s the difference between paying down credit card debt and never having to worry about credit card statements or bills in the first. place. The difference between stressing about next month’s budget and acing your longterm financial goals with much less stress. I may be a budding personal finance writer, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to recommend the Dave Ramsay approach. No free budget calculator either. I’m here to say there’s a better solution, and its simple.

Set up your life such that expenses never exceed your income, and invest the difference. This may mean you’ll need to downsize, but you’ll be happier with less things. That desire to spend will fade away as you begin seeking only the bare essentials. That is how you set yourself up for the long term, budgets be darned.

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George Jreije

George Jreije is a writer of fiction as well as a business professional, the youngest director in his Fortune 250 company. He's passionate about books, finance, and a good stretch during his yoga practice.