MK Dons manager Karl Robinson says the club have been shocked by the amount of money in the Championship.
The Dons have signed 11 new players, including ex-England defender Matt Upson, since promotion last term.
"I think we've been very shocked by the enormity of the finances at this level. I think it's taken us all by surprise," he told BBC Three Counties Radio.
"You read about things and you hope it has a lick of paint on it, but it's certainly not."
He added: "I read things about players who are available, nobody knows who's available because that's just hearsay and nobody knows what those players are on and whether we can afford them."
Robinson confirmed that former Cardiff striker Nicky Maynard and ex-Brentford forward Tommy Smith were training with the club, but that they need to be sensible with their spending.
|Championship clubs spent £100m between them during this summer's transfer window.|
|That dwarfs the amount spent by second-tier clubs in Germany (£25.5m), Italy (£14.6m), Spain (£3.65m) and France (£730,000).|
"It's not a case of playing Football Manager like a lot of people want to do," said Robinson. "We have a budget to stick to - a sustainable budget - and one that will keep this club here for many years.
"It's so easy to get detached from that and go and spend a lot of money on one player and if he gets injured, he's no use to you then.
"To go and blow a lot of money on one player is a big, big risk and one we can't afford to take yet."
Meanwhile, the Dons will be without midfielder Darren Potter for four to six weeks, after the 30-year-old damaged his knee in training.
United States Under-23 goalkeeper Cody Cropper will also be out for between six and eight weeks after picking up a knee injury in the 1-0 defeat by the England Under-21 side last week.