To B or not to B – is that the Question?

To B or not to B – is that the Question?

Ah the B word. You know what that is – budget.

Some say you have to do it to know where your money goes – make an annual spreadsheet! Others stipulate you just need a rough idea: 70% of your money goes on bills, 10% savings, 20% fun, etc.

But before you click out of here to snore or look somewhere else, I have a confession to make.

 

Not to be

I don’t budget.

Not at all. Never have. Mainly because I find it too boring.

Wait what? A finance person that finds budgeting boring?

Yep. I can look at spreadsheets of share portfolios all day. I read finance books for fun. Planning out holidays and costing projects is great. But give me an expense sheet of last month’s bills and I just… drift…away.

Why? Honestly – I. just. don’t. care.

 

Spending and Saving

I’ve always been the type of person who cares heaps about how to save money on stuff I hate (let’s pay a higher water bill! – said no one ever), spend money on stuff I really value (skydiving!) and manage money in the best way to make it work and sweat for me rather than the other way around (investing). As for sitting there, bored, an enormous coffee in hand trying to stay awake while I work out exactly how much we spent on staples last month (was it $2.90 or $2.92?) – yeah, no way.

Here’s the secret. I don’t care to budget because I don’t have to. Living within my means, not pay cheque to pay cheque.  I save some money for the future, some for fun stuff in the intermediate term, and I’ve lot a nice plush cash pillow for when my butt hits the electric fence (I have actually done this. It hurts).

 

Do you need to B?

I’m not trying to boast here. I’m just saying that if you know can save, and you can invest, you can probably afford not to budget.

Now there are some people who may need to budget, at least for a while. Tight funds are one thing, but if you earn a decent income and you’re broke before payday, you may need to sit down and work this out. Actually looking and tracking where your money goes is a really helpful exercise if you can’t seem to save money on a reasonable income.

Then there’s the other extreme – I once knew (a well-paid) someone who would take an inventory of every grocery on their shopping list, take it to every supermarket, and compare prices. Then they would make the trek out to the furthest supermarket to save $0.30 on a can of beans…

 

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