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Why I need a budget

May 21st, 2008 at 10:15 am

Figure I would put this here to avoid taking up a lot of space in the SA blog comments. That and I believe this is a little subjective.

I need a budget because it shows me how I am spending my money. It gives me a way of measuring whether or not I am meeting my goals and allows me to see if there is something that I need to change.

Money doesn't just buy things, it allows you to buy experiences as well. I realized at a very young age that most people like to accumulate things while I like to accumulate experiences. I like to travel, to read, to hike, to bike, to listen to music, to play video games, to eat and to watch movies.

Some of these things are more tangible than others but these are the things I truly value. Almost all of these valued experiences require material stuff so by no means am I claiming to be non-materialistic. In fact, these enjoyable activities can result in the accumulation of too much stuff if I am not careful so I work hard to keep the clutter down.

My point with all of this, is that I want my budget to reflect what I enjoy. I don't want to waste a lot of money on clothing, jewelry, transportation, housing, decorations or knickknacks. I don't care about these things, they are fairly irrelevant to my happiness and can get in the way of something I do care about.

As much as I enjoy eating out, at one point it was eating up too much of my money and not allowing me to spend on my other hobbies. I also let clothing get out of hand because I don't enjoy shopping so instead of hunting sales I would buy what I needed when I needed it. I couldn't see that until I had a budget. That doesn't mean I need to be a slave to it, but I do need to be able to occasionally look at my numbers and make sure I am still doing what I want to be doing.

My favorite poster as a child said "If you don't know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else." A budget is my way of knowing where I am going.

3 Responses to “Why I need a budget”

  1. Aleta Says:

    I so agree with you about your last saying. It's also like if you don't know who you are, someone will tell you. (Know thyself). If you don't know where your money is going , it will tell you where it is going. You want to tell your money where to go.

    It's like having horses and not putting them into a fenced area and just letting them go free. When your horses are secure you will sleep better at night.

  2. honeichild Says:

    Great post! I'm inspired.

  3. monkeymama Says:

    Yes, good post.

    I kind of understand the SA blog in a sense, as the best times for us was when we had abundance and did not need to "budget every penny." But we have always had a plan, and I think everyone needs a plan. For some, a plan involves counting every penny. For others it takes little time or work (Maybe just an annual review). Whatever works best is what is important.

    I can't imagine giving up any planning and being happy with the results. I would feel lost in a maze I guess.

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