Financial Independence

Budget | 8 Reasons Why it’s Not for Us

The budget is one of the most essential parts of our financial journey. It is the rock on which all our financial goals stand. It is incredible how such a simple tool could be so powerful. But according to a Gallup poll statistic, only about 1/3 of Americans (32%) maintain a household budget, and the average American spends less than 4.5 hours a year figuring out their finances.

Life struggles are inevitable, so let us do the best we can to control some aspects of it by living with intention.

While I do not advocate obsessing over our money day in and day out, we can do better than that. Considering that half of American households live paycheck to paycheck, with 19% percent not having a penny saved to cover emergency expenses. I genuinely believe that we all deserve a life free from financial anxiety. However, Like me, people see budgets as too obsessive, unnecessary, and overly complicated. Today I will discuss some of my doubts and how I got on board the budget train.

1. “I always spend way less than what I earn. I got it covered!

If it isn’t broken, why fix it right? I had always thought of managing my finances this way. As a healthcare worker, I am fortunate enough to earn over the median income. Therefore, if I live within my means, I will always have a decent amount saved. Thus, this situation did not scream an emergency to me.

If I am paying my rent and all my credit cards in time and in full, and I see my savings grow every month, I do not need to budget anything. Not until I got into online shopping, traveling, and trying different hobbies. These are definitely not free, and since I do not have a budget, I have no idea how much I am spending on these newly discovered ventures.

I increased my spending, but my income and belief in budgeting remained the same. I started seeing fewer savings at first, and then the rude awakening came when I could not pay my cards in total. I even had to tap into my savings account to support my cost of living. If I had a budget, I would have realized that I could not afford to pay for all these new things. Most importantly, I would have caught the hole draining my finances.

2. “A budget is too restricting! I want to do whatever I want with the money I worked for.

I understand how a budget can be very restricting. It could feel that we are depriving ourselves of the things we deserve. But then I realized that with my own budget, it does not have to be this way.

I can still do whatever I want with my own money, but I would have to put them in categories this time. In my budget, nobody is allowed to tell me to spend only $2 on coffee or $6 on a carwash (don’t you always feel like a celebrity when you get the wash with lava wax!). I will be in charge. If I think that a line item in the budget needs more funds, I will be very generous with it.

When I realized that I was the CFO of my own life, the budget stopped looking like it was a restriction but a pathway. Gone are the days of contemplating if I should try that new thing. I know I can because it is in the budget. It gave me more freedom to enjoy life and spend more money on the things I value the most, and it stopped me from wasting my hard-earned cash on things that do not really contribute to my happiness.

3. “That is a waste of time!

When I was still in school, I remember Friday afternoons when our teachers would tell us that we would have a quiz on 2-3 chapters of an encyclopedia size of a book the coming Monday. Where do you even begin? Of course, I completely understand that we go to school to learn and not just to pass a quiz. But still! It would have been nice to know what to focus on.

That, to me, is the budget. It allows me to focus only once and then let these decisions run on autopilot until I open the budget again. It could be monthly or quarterly. I do not have to look at my accounts or tally my upcoming paystubs every time to check if I can afford anything. It’s already done!

When faced with a financial decision or an opportunity, I go for it because I know that I have the resources allotted for it. This can range from going out for dinner or traveling across the country to visit friends and family.

4. “I do not want to be obsessing about money all the time.

Recently I learned that the expression, “Money is the root of all evil.” is an incomplete and misleading quotation. The passage says, “For the love of money is the root of all evil.”

Discussions about money tend to be skirted around or even avoided. I am all for privacy, so I do not expect people to divulge specific figures on their accounts. Still, if you talk about personal finance, some interpret it as bragging that you have plenty of it or that you are asking for it because you do not have any.

We do not have to be obsessive with our budgets. I only look at mine at the end of each month when I make the necessary adjustments then I let it go. In our household, we see money as a tool. Like every other tool, it can be used for good or bad things. We chose to use it, so we talked about it because we wanted to know how to use it in the most innovative way possible.

5. “What emergency? I’m still young, not retiring anytime soon!”

44% of Americans worry that they will never be able to retire and that 23% of Americans do not have any kind of retirement plan at all

One of the many valuable things my budget can do is help prepare for future expenses. From minor setbacks to expensive emergencies up to the much-anticipated retirement, the budget has all the numbers I need to make them as comfortable on the wallet as possible.

I love our home, but something always needs to be repaired or replaced, no matter how careful I am. According to an HGTV real estate article, an average homeowner should save up to 3% of the home value for repairs.

Another considerable expense that startles me is car repairs. I depend so much on my car in my line of work that my priority is always in tip-top shape. AAA estimated the average car maintenance and repair cost is about $1200 per year.

For peace of mind, we put them in our budget because we want to ensure that when these expenses come up, we can just get them done.

Another future expense that I had not thought of sooner was retirement. Why would I? That is still a million years away! But it is not. According to a post on, in 2021, 44% of Americans worry that they will never be able to retire, and 23% do not have any kind of retirement plan.

In hindsight, the best time to start saving for retirement was when I received my first paycheck. This is because when you start investing earlier for your retirement, compounding interest helps your money grow more. When you save earlier, the pressure to save up is also lighter because you do not have to keep a ton of money to catch up.

Our old selves are counting on us to take care of them because they may not have the energy to work as much as we do now. Nevertheless, we want them to enjoy their golden years, so we carved out a portion of our budget for them.

6. “They do not have a budget; they seem alright.

I used to scroll my social media feed until I was caught up in yesterday’s feed. I felt that I knew how my family and friends were doing, but unconsciously, I used their posts as a standard to measure my life.

Until I realized that there is more to people than their social media feeds, I did not know many things in the background. That everybody has struggles hidden from plain view. I cannot assume that a post accurately represents other peoples’ lives. Even my close family members and friends.

Everyone is fighting a battle you don’t know about. Be kind. Always

Rev John Watson

What we know is our own lives, our current financial standing, our own challenges, and the goals we set to achieve. Therefore, making decisions based on those and not on our assumptions about others is only fitting.

7. “I earn and spend so little that there will be nothing to account for.

Before being intentional about my personal finance, my mindset was to save 20% of my take-home pay on top of my 401K deductions and then spend 80% on living expenses and on the bargains that I find online. There is nothing to account for; whatever amount is on that 20% pot will be my emergency money, travel money, and retirement fund.

When I finally tried budgeting, I saw a clear picture of my finances. I realized I was only one colossal emergency away from possible collapse. I was not using money with intention. I discovered that If I do not take investing for retirement seriously, gray-haired me would be scrapping beans out of a can every single meal of the day (nothing against beans, but you see the point).

Slide the (<>) button to feel how much better we can be if we jump on the budget train.

We need a budget if we earn loads of money and even more if we earn significantly less. This simple tool is the blueprint for our short-term and long-term goals. The only instance where I think we can get away without a budget is if we do not spend money on anything, from the food we eat and the clothes we wear to the house we live in, with all utilities included.

I want to be self-sufficient but still, need money to do it. I understand that we should not worry so much about anything, but I am concerned that letting our finances ride the wind without intention might land us in a tight spot we could not get out of.

8. “A budget is tough to do.

It does not have to be complicated. You can put all your information on mobile apps (Mint, YNAB, Personal Capital), create an excel template, or use a good old pen, paper, and calculator.

If you write it down or do a spreadsheet, your Expenses will be a good place to start. We want to find out how much goes where to help us set a realistic budget for the coming month. First, we will write down the general categories (Housing, Food, Entertainment…) on what we spent this month.

Let us put all the expenses we spent in each category and add it all up.

Be as accurate as you can, but do not loose sleep over a lost receipt!

The first time I did my budget, I was surprised at what it summed up. I realized I was eating out and buying so much stuff! This is what the budget is supposed to do. Put things in perspective and take you back to reality so you can do something about it.

The next step is to account for our net income for the month. This will be from all reliable income sources such as a paycheck, profit if you have a business, or social security (if you are receiving one). We will not include one-time sales on selling platforms (Facebook Marketplace or eBay) if we do not make an effort to make a sale each month. For this example, I used the median annual income for physical therapists ($91,000) taxed at 20% in the U.S.

To calculate Savings, we would deduct Expenses from Income, and for the Savings Rate, we would divide the Savings by Income and then multiply by 100.

Savings = Income - Expenses : Savings Rate = (Savings / Income) x 100

If this comes out negative, that is alright! But, again, that is what it is supposed to do. At least, now we know that our finances are in a “state of emergency,” but it is not the end of the world. So, let it motivate us when we plan the budget for the coming month.

Based on our goals and current spending pattern, we will plan for the budget for next month. We can add new categories we want to save for (Retirement, Emergency, Car repairs, Home repairs, Travel, and others). To overcome the urge to spend them, these line items will be set for automatic transfers from our checking to separate accounts immediately upon receiving our paycheck. Then, we would just transfer them back as needed. Also, we can break up categories (Shopping category to Gardening, Art Supplies, and Spanish Lessons).

Play with the categories, try out new things! Just make sure you're still on track with your financial goals.

Let us aim to be realistic in allotting funds to our categories by not underfunding them because changing our consumption habits can take time. So look for line items that you could tweak to save money. For instance, we could shop for other phone or internet service providers, cut back on dining to once a week, get quotes from different auto insurance companies, drive less, and subscribe to only one streaming service.

Call your current provider or shop around. You will be amazed what a phone call can do!

As you can see, that would save us over $500! More money to put on our passion projects, retirement, and emergency funds! We sat down for a few minutes, but our decisions would significantly impact our finances.

If we came out positive. That is even more fantastic news! But that does not mean we do not have to consider our expenses with intention. We would still look at each line item and then decide if the amount of dollars we put in is consistent with the things we value the most.

While training to stick with the budget, we would have to revisit the budget regularly. In our case, we do so on the last weekend of every month. As a result, we ensure that we are not overspending on a category and are on track to achieve our financial goals.

Remember that each budget is unique, so it does not have to look like ours, your best friend’s, or your sibling’s. Our budget reflects our goals to learn languages and Travel. Others may love trying different restaurants and cafes, playing golf, photography, pampering their furry babies, or collecting vintage cars. It could be anything! …If planned intentionally. Let your budget reflect who you are. Make your money and do things that feel like you.

Welcome aboard the budget train! We now have one of the most essential tools to take us to financial independence. With our figures (Expenses, Income, Savings), we can dive deeper into the nitty-gritty of our finances. Rehab our life decisions to make any path we choose less bumpy. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.

Need help working on your budget? Let us know in the comments or on our socials. We have customizable budget templates that we’re happy to share with you!

About Us

We are a Pinoy Physical Therapist duo living somewhat unconventional but intentional lives. Trying to be smarter and better than we were before, we surround ourselves with content, experiences, and people that help us discover practical yet powerful ways to achieve our goals.

We aim to be financially independent by making small changes to the way we live. We invite you to join our journey! We hope that you learn something useful from our experiences.

Follow us on YouTube for more money and travel tips! Please comment below or visit our Facebook page if you have questions or suggestions. See you soon!


We are NOT certified financial advisors, analysts, or CPAs. Investing strategies shared in this article and the website are not financial advice but our opinions for educational purposes only. We want you to treat our content as a preview to do your research so you can make intelligent financial decisions.


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