This article describes the realities of learning to manage a budget. Because there is little formal training in the graduate library school program, acquisitions librarians learn the necessary skills through observation, trial and error. Based on her own experience, the author provides a description and overview of the budget process and the various phases of it for which an acquisitions librarian may be responsible: budget development, committing the budget, and budget analyses and reports. She points out the typical difficulties which acquisitions librarians encounter in the budget management process, and suggests methods and strategies for coping with them. She concludes that it is a rewarding experience, despite the frustrations.