FINANCE YO SELF

The F*ck It Budgeting System

Note:  This is different than the “F*ck Budget” from the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck.”


As far as undesirable topics to talk about go, budgeting is probably in the top 10.  Most people HATE to budget.  Most people DON’T budget.  Budgets are

  • boring
  • unnecessary
  • time consuming
  • constraining
  • too real (as in, making a budget would make you face some harsh realities about your lifestyle)

How The F*ck It Budget Works

The F*ck It Budget (FIB) is deceptive.  At a glance it looks like normal behavior for most people:

  1. Get paid
  2. Pay bills
  3. Spend what’s left (use credit if necessary)

It mostly goes against all those reasons above why someone wouldn’t want to use a budget.  Here’s where it gets interesting.

Step 3 is where the real freedom begins (and ends).

Sometimes what’s left gets spent on “undesirables”, aka things you don’t want to spend your hard earned money on.

Other times there’s some money left to spend on enjoying life, aka living in the moment/YOLO!

This doesn’t look like a budget at all.  Budgets are plans.  This is just living life as each day comes!  Except for one thing…

Failing to plan is planning to fail.

The FIB is a plan.  It’s a plan to continue playing defense.  It’s a plan to continue to let life happen.  Any decisions in step 3, whether good or bad, are met with a resounding F*ck It!

It’s either gotta be paid for or you deserve it so don’t worry about whether or not you can afford it.

Yes, It’s A Real Budget

Look at all the reasons people don’t “budget” and how they work perfectly with the FIB:

  • Boring.  Living life as it comes might seem exciting, except that getting to that point depends on the cycle of getting paid, paying for obligations, and hoping there’s enough left over the spend on what you want.  More often than not there’s not much left to spend “living life”, and going into debt only makes the good part of Step 3 harder to get to.  Over time, the boring stuff takes up more and more of your time and your money.
  • Unnecessary.   Planning to fail creates a lot of unnecessary stress and expense.  It takes a lot of mental and emotional energy to live life as it comes (more on this in a second).
  • Time Consuming.   Similar to above, failure is time consuming.  In the realest sense, the cycle of the FIB depends on a steady flow of income, aka working indefinitely.
  • Constraining.  Hoping you have enough left over after your obligations each month doesn’t sound like a very free way to live.  It’s stressful and hardly enjoyable.
  • Too Real.   The realization that in NOT budgeting you still LIVE ON A BUDGET – one that amplifies all the negative qualities you thought budgets had in the first place!

I imagine most people who “don’t budget” have a list of things in their head – bills, upcoming expenses, plans that require spending – as well as a general idea of how much is sitting in their bank account.

I hate to break it to you, but that’s financial planning (aka a budget).

The key is that a budget is just a plan for how you spend your money.  Anyone who’s seriously used a budget will tell you that things don’t always go according to that plan.  Those who’ve tried budgeting and quit will likely tell you they got overwhelmed by a major expense or breaking their budget and felt like they “couldn’t do it right”.

A Better Budget Makes It Easier to Live In The Moment

The great thing about learning about the F*ck It Budget is that every other way automatically seems a lot easier.

It also establishes the idea that EVERYBODY budgets, not just 1 out of 3 people.  What THOSE people are doing is Budgeting BETTER.  It’s not often you find something that’s both better AND easier.

For regular people in today’s world, actually LIVING IN THE MOMENT is next to impossible.  Everybody has obligations, responsibilities, things they HAVE to do and things they NEED, whether it’s simply to survive or by design.

Ignoring obligations doesn’t automatically allow you to enjoy the present.  In fact, it probably makes it HARDER to enjoy that moment.  Think about any time you tried to enjoy something while procrastinating or spending money you didn’t know if you had.  It’s torture.

Have To and Need hang over your head like a raincloud.  Ignoring them to live in the now might make them seem less important but they’ll be there, and you’ll know it.

On the other hand, managing your Have To’s and Needs gives you little pockets of sunshine.  Yes, you still know more obligations will come up.  But for a little bit, there’s nothing pressing because you’ve protected that time.  It’s secure…

Security = Freedom

Secure is a boring word.  Right up there with budgets and planning.  Would you rather be secure or spontaneous/exciting/impulsive/etc. (because those are apparently the the exact opposite of secure)?

Whether it’s being spontaneous and living in the moment or just taking life as it comes, it’s going to be a lot easier if you have some sort of plan in place.  Think of it as reducing consequences.

A person with a plan might have adequate savings to cover an emergency.  So when they decide at the last minute to go out for dinner and drinks with friends, there’s no worry.  If something comes up, they’ve got a plan to cover it, so that’s one less thing they worry about.  Suddenly they have one less care than everybody else, and they’ve allowed themselves to be impulsive and spontaneous – to really live in the moment.

 


Image by jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

  1. That’s an interesting take on not budgeting…I see it’s focused more on the definition of “budget” than the actual act of writing a list of stuff.

    Thanks for the thought provoking post. It’s nice to see more pf bloggers thinking outside the box.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting! I feel like “budget” is a dirty word in the “dirty subject” of money/personal finance that has a lot of baggage attached to it. Simply having a plan does a lot of liberating!

  2. This is kinda how my budget goes. I don’t have “categories” I just have my pay, from which I deduct my savings and bills, then I put the rest of my spending on my credit card (for the points) and keep track of that. I set myself a limit based on how much I will get paid when the bill is due, but how that money gets spent doesn’t matter. Sometimes I go over my self imposed limit and that’s ok, because I have a cushion in my bank account to account for that. I could never say “200 for groceries, 100 for clothes, 100 for eating out, etc.” because that’s not how my actual spending goes each month, it’s way more variable but always within my means.

    1. It sounds like you’ve found a system that works for you, which at the end of the day is exactly what I think it’s really all about. Aspects of personal finance come across as intimidating and lots of work but it really just boils down to self awareness and the willingness to confront a subject that, once you’re in it and doing it (and really thinking about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it) can become a liberating aspect of your life.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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