I think one of the dangers of starting to control our finances over the past 6 years is that we start obsessing about money. Or become stingy. That’s not the point of what I write about. It is in fact the opposite. We live with far more freedom and less worry.
Granted, we had to put more thought into the whole thing at the beginning. But it was all the with purpose of building a process whereby we didn’t have to think about finances on a daily basis.
I’ve put this in the format of A.) What is the finance question that people worry about and B.) how a non-budgetter and budgetter addressthat question.
Questions that non-budgetting folks obsess about money?
1.) Do we have enough for this purchase?
Non-budgeter: I have no idea. Hopefully there is enough. Try not to think about it.
Budgetter: Do I have enough in the budget? If yes, spend it. And if not, don’t spend it.
Or spend it and discuss at next budget meeting as a reason a category needs to be increased.
2.) What if we have a high cost emergency?
Non-Budgetter: Worry, worry, worry (i.e. obsess and live in fear)
Budgetter: Live life and know that the short term and long-term emergency fund are in place just in case.
3.) Are we saving enough?
Non-Budgetter: Maybe we should talk to a financial adviser and hopefully they’re ethical. Try not to think about it.
Budgetter: Yep. We’ve lowered our expenses as much as possible and are contributing a healthy amount to savings. In our case, we living on 50% of our take home pay and contributing roughly 15% to savings. It gets taken out of our paycheck automatically and increases as the paycheck increases.
4.) What is my spouse spending money on?
Non-Budgetter: Brace for uncomfortable conversation.
Budgetter: Not a question that gets asked because they’re probably spending what we budgeted and if not we’ll discuss it at next budget session.
5.) Do we have as much as the neighbors?
Non-Budgetter: A constant obsession. We constantly feel inadequate and wonder how much other people make.
Budgetter: Don’t really care. We’ve chosen to live our life by our own standards.