Budgeting is the worse advice possible especially …

if saving for retirement is part of your budget!

Budgeting is hard, budgeting is stressful as is sticking to a budget. Why would you want to make saving for retirement or saving at all part of your budget where those dollars are competing with your need and desire to spend? That’s just nuts.

And yet that is very common advice. You need a budget, don’t forget to have saving as part of your budget. 😳

“but you still should if you can?” That is exactly the attitude you don’t want to let influence you. If you take on face value the often misinterpreted, “Americans don’t have $400 in the bank” story based on a self-reported survey, there is your evidence that saving needs to always come first.

You don’t budget savings, you budget based on your net income after saving. Actually a budget is not needed at all, but I acknowledge that takes a bit of discipline.

If your income is $50,000, you save $7,500, you pay your payroll and other taxes and what is left is the money that determines your standard of living, your lifestyle. That’s your budget. It’s automatic.

You can spend whatever you want to, but do not use a credit card unless it is always paid in full before any interest is accrues.

If what you have to spend is insufficient to provide the lifestyle you desire, find a way to increase your income, or if possible, look at your spending and see what you truly do not need.

Yes, both are possible, many motivated, disciplined people do it every day.


  1. This is precisely how I’ve run my life for 20 years. 20 more and I will probably be a lot like you in retirement. Love your insight.


  2. Richard, semantics, semantics! American’s who don’t have $400.00 in their savings are not budgeters. I’ll admit that you are correct, in that if you subtract your taxes and retirement savings from your income, your budget can be based on what’s left. However, our budget capped our spending and we were able to save “the rest” which eventually was a lot more than 15%.


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