Why I don’t do budgets

by David Lewis

Here is some of the best free budgeting advice I ever done got (from an economist, no less):

Most people who want to know about household budgeting turn to someone like Dave Ramsey, who has a carefully crafted household budgeting system. His, like many others, relies on a simple idea—sometimes called the “envelope system”—where you put your gas money in one envelope, your grocery money in another, etc., and spend only within a category.

This idea is clear and elegant—even if you don’t actually use an envelope, it seems like it could be easy to stick to, and it has a nice old-timey feel. There is a problem, though: It is in violation of basic economic principles.” – Emily Oster, Slate

The last time I brought up this article on the Fakebook, I was roasted alive. People came out of the woodwork to tell me I was all sorts of silly.

It’s amusing, really.

Most of the responses were VERY emotionally-driven…no real logical or well-thought out objections.

It’s a very common theme that plays out over and over and over again whenever money-related subjects come up.

Lotsa things feel like a good idea.



Stuffing money under a mattress.

…but they become like shackles because they’re either illogical or violate some basic mathematical or economic principle.

But people get good FEELS from them…so they keep doing them…

…like budgeting and tracking expenses.

Budgeting forces you to be restrictive with your finances when money, really, is fungible (one dollar can be exchanged for any other dollar in the banking system). As long as you understand, on average, what you make and spend, you can create a VERY simple and scary-accurate cash flow system that doesn’t rely on any sort of budgeting or expense tracking (in fact, I wrote a (very) short eBook on this topic and published it on Amazon if you are so inclined).

There is no “food budget” or “gas budget” or mortgage budget.” Those are accounting fictions we humans use to put our money in a box.

And what happens when you put your money in a box?

You can’t see the forest for the trees.

Example: Recently I talked with someone who had lotsa money set aside in savings. She also had lotsa high-interest debt. She could pay it off…but she refused to touch her savings.

Even though that debt easily costs her more than what she’s earning on her savings…

…even though she’d be in a better financial position…

…she wouldn’t do it.

Power of being stuck in a box.

That box is a trap you can’t get out of.

Investing is the same way. You get stuck in one mode of thinking…and can’t see any other way to accumulate savings.

You end up limiting your options…and not in a good way.


These are just some of the things I’ll be addressing at my upcoming webinar:


The time value of money.

The value (and cost) of your future.

Ditching the “either-or” mentality and adopting the “both” mentality…

…and of course how to save 20% to 40% of your income without eating cat food.

Want to know how this is done?

Sign up for my email list where I tell all..



Ready to kick things up a notch?


... plus get hard-hitting, politically incorrect, life insurance advice delivered straight to your inbox + free access to The Monegenix App when you sign up to read David's Daily Emails.

About David

David Lewis is a licensed life insurance agent, and has worked in the life insurance industry since 2004. During that time, he has worked with some of the oldest and most respected mutual life insurance companies in the U.S. To learn more about him and his business, go here.