In my previous post, I confessed that we don’t sit down and write out a plan each month of where our money will go each month. The idea was that by sitting down and planning everything out, we might get a clearer picture of things…
Now, my wife is my most loyal blog reader, and I need to clarify a few things. First, I fully admit that when it comes to our personal finances, I can be obsessive at times. Part of this may be because I work in the financial industry and know the importance of havings things in order. Part of this may be because I grew up in a household where money was always really tight. Regardless of the reasons why, I think my desire to sit down and have regular money meetings with my wife are probably a bit much. The thing is, we do talk about money. We just don’t sit down and plan out every dollar of spending or go over every bill. But our spending patterns are so stable that both my wife and I have things pretty well memorized.
My wife said that those “money meetings” would be the exact same every month, beause our bills are (almost) the exact same every month. We take out a fixed amount of cash each week for groceries and other weekly spending, and it’s pretty rare that we spend beyond that.
In a nutshell, sitting down and writing out a formal budget is not a necessity in our situation. My wife and I both know what our bills our and how much cash we get each week, and we base our spending on those constraints. This is essentially what a number of commentors expressed as well. If you find yourself consistenly spending more than you think you should be spending, then sitting down and writing out an actual budget is indeed very important. Having a written budget gives you something to measure up against to make sure you’re actual spending is in line with your goals. But, once you reach the point where those spending habits become second nature to you, there’s a good chance that you can scale back on writing out a budget. I think everyone is different, and it’s just a matter of finding a system that works for you.