This week I am thankful for budgeting.
Anyone that knows me will tell you I am ALWAYS worried about money and I spend frivolously. I worry about the future and what if I need money for something unknown. Neurotic I know! Thankfully, Keith and I merged each of our saving practices and he forced me to begin budgeting immediately after getting married.
Prior to marriage, we both had savings methods but they were very different.
Keith always established an amount he wanted to save and came up with a plan to get there based on what he knew his income and expenses would be for that period of time. If something costs less than anticipated or he received unanticipated money, he considered it a bonus and could splurge however he desired. Example: If Keith received cash for his birthday he would treat himself to a nicer dinner or buy those pants he had been eyeing.
I was completely opposite! I had no idea how much I wanted to save. I just wanted to save everything I possibly could. If I ran across unanticipated money it never crossed my mind to spend it let alone splurge. Example: If I received cash for my birthday it was immediately deposited and forgotten.
Now we are attempting to merge the two methods.
We began with a goal of how much we want to save annually. Then we estimated our income and expenses. Finally, we cut back on discretionary expenses to meet the initial savings goal. As the end of each month approaches, “updating the budget” is added to my “to do” list. I dread the tedious task of entering and categorizing all our expenses. I also fear the results and worry about how over budget we might be. The fears never go away even if we are consistently under budget. My worries just turn to worrying we aren’t under budget enough. I think analyzing the budget is Keith’s favorite time of the month.
Despite the stress and time commitment, I am thankful Keith insisted on budgeting. I know it makes us put more consideration into our purchases and appreciate the purchases more. And although I will never fully be at peace with saving money, it does provide at least some peace of mind.