A lot of people think they are better than budgeting. I’m sure there was a time in my life when I thought I was as well. But it’s not just a maturity thing. Plenty of intelligent adults believe they are better than budgeting. It’s easy to talk yourself out of budgeting because you know your numbers. Because you are aware of your spending. Because you know what you are doing. Yet it doesn’t quite work out that way. Denial is a major factor in a lot of poor financial decisions. But I’m not going to convince you to budget. I’m really not. I could go on for paragraphs and paragraphs about the benefits of budgeting, but really nothing I say will make you start a budget. It’s one of those things you’ll have to decide to do on your own.
But just like your body gives you signs you need to see a doctor, your financial life gives you signs you need to budget. The signs speak for themselves.
Do you have…
– overdraft charges at your bank?
– credit card debt?
– financial stress?
– relationship problems regarding money?
– to check your account balance daily?
– personal debts to a family member or friend?
If you answered yes to any of these questions you have a problem. Thankfully, it’s a problem with a specific answer. Budgeting. That’s all you have to do. Budgeting solves a lot of ills in your financial life. How does budgeting help you avoid overdraft charges? Because you’ll know how much you need to have in your account at any given time to cover bills and expenses. How does budgeting help you avoid relationship problems? Because a budget gets you on the same page as your partner, and when you get on the same page you aren’t working against each other.
Budgeting takes the guesswork out of your financial life. It gives you true control, not like what you are convincing yourself you have now. Budgets come in all shapes and sizes. You don’t have to budget like your parents did or like your co-workers do. Find what works for you. My only recommendation is to meet once a month to discuss your budget. There is no need to constantly talk or obsess over your finances. Once a month is plenty of time to evaluate how you did last month and set goals for the upcoming month. It’s time to self-diagnose. If you have the signs, you’ve got to bite the bullet and budget.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.