I’ve avoided this topic long enough, but there is no getting around it. What are the first things that come to your mind when you see or hear the word budget? Over the years I have met only a few people who actually have pleasant, happy thoughts towards budgets and budgeting.
Most people associate budgets with something undesirable like a ball and chain around their ankle. This is not surprising when you consider how this term is used in advertising and every day conversation. For example, who wants to travel budget class if they can go first class?
In fact put the word budget in front of any other word and what does it mean? Well, it has come to mean “not quite as good as.” Not convinced? If you were asked to go on a business trip that was being completely paid for by your employer, and you were given the choice of staying at the Ritz-Carlton or the Budget Motel, which one would you choose? Oh come on now, everyone knows that the Budget Motel (and anyone who stays there) is not quite as good as . . . . And we all suspect that the Budget sheets are only changed once a week.
Budgets are an important planning tool for deciding how to best “spend” our limited resources. If you can’t get past the negative images associated the word budget, then start calling it by what it truly is: A Spending Plan. And most people like to spend.