Money is a strange thing. It is just an object, made of copper or gold or paper. It’s a math problem. Paychecks come in, and payments go out. It completely logical and free of emotion on the one hand, but it is inseparable from emotion on the other. On the surface, money management is simple: Spend less than you earn. But when I’m standing in front of that new gadget that I have been reading about for months, it feels a lot less clear. Or when it’s been a long week and a nice hot cup of FourBucks would be just the antidote for my lethargy. Money is tightly intertwined with many bigger issues that we face, making it much more complicated than simple adding and subtracting.
And so, you need a budget.
The Ghosts of Money Past, Present, and Future
A budget works in the past, present, and future. It gives you a clear vision of the past – how you have measured up over time. It tells you, in black and red, how you are doing currently. It helps you plan out the limits of what you want to spend in the future. And it helps you prepare for good and bad things coming up, like vacations or private school or braces. (Wow, I’m getting old!) To summarize: It is a way that you tell your money where to go, and it is a way to track where it actually went.
We have several posts that deal with money and budgeting. We hope they are helpful for you.