Do you budget expenses?

(Moreover, how do you stick to your budget?)

If we are honest, those two questions strike fear and embarrassment into almost all of us.

Most believe we “should” have a budget and stick to it. However, this is a classic example of something that is much easier said than done.

Plus, everything varies depending on the individual!

Consider the variety of situations:

  • Some need to survive week-to-week.
  • Many have variable income. How does a strict expense budget fit within a variable income setting?
  • Some aim to be debt or financially-free, which requires long-term management of what you own and owe and maybe learning to be content with lower expenses.
  • Some focus on managing the biggest potential budget breakers like housing, cars, and vacations, the limiting the risk of catastrophic expenses by understanding and buying insurance. They believe that if they manage the most significant costs and risks, the little things won’t matter.
  • Those with significant assets and income (e.g., sometimes during retirement) can find budgeting entirely different than when there are few reserves for emergencies.
  • Moreover, finally, we are all different! Some of us like details and puzzles like budgeting. Others want to stay at a high level. Also, still others want nothing to do with it.

Plus, it is hard enough to do this on one’s own but doing it with a partner multiplies the difficulty.   (Generally, issues with money are generally assumed to be among the top three reasons for marital discord and divorce.)

There are those who are fortunate to have the mindset, structure, process and tools to manage a budget effectively…and often the rest of us can feel we would benefit from adopting their approach.

This can be unhelpful. We are all different in the way we approach budgeting, what works with our natural perspective, what works with our technology, and what works with our natural skill sets.

Available tools have the same issue.

There are so many tools available that individuals or couples are unlikely to find a tool that works for them quickly – and that experience reduces the chance they will continue trying to find a budgeting solution that works for them.

Examples include:

  • Computer spreadsheets (excel or google docs)
  • Bound paper spreadsheets
  • MINT or similar apps that aggregate accounts and transactions and suggest budgets
  • Paper and pencil
  • Forced processes (such as cash in an envelope at the beginning of the month, and when it’s gone it’s gone)

What can work so well for one person can be quite unlikely to work for another. However, once one discovers what works, they will want to stick with it.

It is a very personal challenge. I think of it as an exercise routine.

So, summarizing, what are my points?

  1. Don’t get down on yourself for not having a perfect budgeting process.  
  2. Recognize that this is a personal challenge, and that the approaches of others may not work for you.
  3. Don’t give up on finding ways and methods of managing your money that can be vitally important to your financial health.

If you have found this helpful, please reach out by clicking below. I’d love to spend 30 minutes with you on the phone to help you discover things about yourself that could help you manage things in a better way.

I won’t try to make you do anything someone else’s way and I believe that us having a short conversation about you and your situation would be worth it. You would only be charged for our brief discussion and nothing else. 

Connect with me today for more details, and thanks for reading!

Karl can work to help you clarify the questions and issues in your mind, so that you have confidence as you consider insurance buying questions.

I hope this information has been helpful for you - but I’m sure you still have additional thoughts or questions.

Give me a call at 503.902.5320 or reach out through my website so that we can set up some time to go over your situation and work on coming up with the best solution for you.