It’s not just about spending less at the supermarket!

Recently at a business function I was talking to a young woman who told me that she knew ‘how to budget’. When I asked her what that meant, she answered – “I know how to spend less at the supermarket”.

Inwardly, I groaned. There is still so much educating to do about the whole subject of budgets that sometimes I’m not sure if I’m winning the war.

How do I make people understand that having a budget is not just about spending less at the supermarket?

But, her attitude is typical of the general publics’ view about having a budget and I wonder if that’s because there’s so much misuse of the word ‘budget’.

Look around you and you will see signs declaring – ‘budget steaks’; budget car deals; budget airfares or budget deals. The marketing people, who don’t seem to understand the meaning of the word, (possibly because they’ve never organised one) are using the word budget to mean ‘cheap’.

Could this be one reason that people shy away from having a budget? Could it be because they don’t wish to be associated with the word cheap?

A budget is a basic financial plan. It calculates your income and expenses and allows you to plan how your money will be spent. Where in that definition does it use the word cheap? Where does it say – “spend less at the supermarket”?

If the marketing gurus mean that the price of something is low enough to fit into a tight budget plan – then why don’t they say that?

However, I do understand the other side of the coin in that statement. There are too many words in that sentence. The marketing people needed to shorten it – so they looked for a word to use; one that would explain what they meant. They picked the word budget.

So now we’ve come to think that budget means poor quality or second grade (as in the butchers’ definition)

Why couldn’t they have used another word? Like – cheap? Or discount? Or perhaps wallet friendly (oops, that’s 2 words).  Maybe they could say – bargain, or perhaps even use cut-price instead of the word budget.

It’s about time we changed that old-fashioned marketing use of the word ‘budget’.

We’re living in the 21st Century for goodness sake and we’re supposedly educated adults.

We all know what a budget is, and if we don’t then it’s time to find out. 


© Carmel McCartin – Budget Bitch

And don’t forget – (The views expressed in this blog are the personal opinions of the author. Don’t rely on them to make financial decisions, you have to make up your own mind. If you don’t like the content – then either stop reading or send me an email)

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