Friday, July 15, 2011
The “B” Word
I’ve always been a big fan of budgets. They just help me think more clearly about my finances. Even though most of my money goes to fixed bills I still like the security of having a budget where I allocate all my monetary funds to a specific bill or goal; I like knowing that all my money matters are covered.
Generally I break my budget up so that I am paying roughly the same amount each pay period (I get paid on the 1st and the 15th). It makes it so much easier; I don’t have to save a little from my first paycheck to cover something in my next paycheck. I also like the consistency of my system.
I always make sure I have my bills paid before I use ANY of what I call “fun money”. This is like rule numero uno for me in regard to my financial life. I’m a pay-yourself-first kind of gal so saving 100 bucks every month is much more important to me than having 100 bucks to spend on myself (draw a line through “spend on myself”) buy something with. I crossed that out because I am actually spending that money I save on myself. A substantial savings account is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. And I like to be as generous as possible to me!
I don’t track my individual purchases when using my fun money, but that may be something I think about doing in the future. Then I could budget for personal care items, for eating out and for anything else that I spend my money on regularly. And if I felt that I was spending too much on any one category (like fast food) I could rearrange my budget to not give me so much in that particular type of expense. It might be more trouble that it’s worth, but it is definitely something I want to look into in the future.
I don’t know how most of my friends budget, or even if they do. My mom and sister are big budgeters (you have to be when you’re watching every little penny, as my momma used to say). On the other hand, husband doesn’t budget at all. I’d love to find out more about my friends budgeting ways (or lack there of) but I get the feeling most folks aren’t as into personal finance as I am. And it is such a cultural taboo to discuss money. Why is that? We have no problem talking about celebrity sex tapes, but money….. oh no!
What about you? How and what do you budget? Do you get excited like me when you get paid and get to pay your bills? Or am I the only one who is weird like that?