Start Budgeting!

Budgeting awakes many negative associations. No wonder that one-third of people do not budget at all and two-third say they are unsuccessful at budgeting. Household budgeting often stands for fantasy, guiltiness, irrelevance or negativity.

Common Associations

  • I calculated the budget I would like to follow, but it is not doable.
  • I am always over budget. If I would omit my budget, I would feel better.
  • I set up a budget once. It never served me.
  • I can never have any fun because of my budget.

Avoid Pitfalls
Start with your individual live goals before you begin to work on your household budget. Do not start from others, like the average housing or grocery bill. Instead, ask yourself questions such as:

  • When I look back at age 80, what would I like my life to look like?
  • When and why was I most happy in my life?
  • What do I regret not having done in life?
  • If my life would be over in 6 month, what would I do during this time?

Most people see the value in asking such existential questions from time to time, but the unverbalised consensus usually says that these questions have nothing to do with budgeting.

Life Goals and Budgeting
For the achievement of life goals, the big picture needs to be monitored permanently. And this includes budgeting. For any efforts, the first question you want to ask is: What is my personal goal? Therefrom, budgeting is a tool that can help you achieve your goals. How can you properly construct your budget if you do not know what your goals are? And why limit your goals to this year’s income statement? You could learn from books about something you would like to know or you could listen to music in order to change your mood, but how foolish it would be to stop afterwards. In the same way, why not using budgeting in order to get closer to your lifelong goals.

Happiness and Money
Money does not lead to happiness by all means. However, money can be substituted to a large extent with time and vice versa. Budgeting, as a tool for managing money, can therefore be extended to help manage those most precious basic resources, time and money. And since economics can be defined as the allocation of scarce resources among competing systems, household budgeting is genuine economy in action. Budgeting is all about choices and you are the decision maker.

External Point of View
When people figure out that we have a household budget, they often ask why we care about. The main reason is not to save money or to provide discipline. Although it does both. We budget our financial resources in order to make sure that our finances are in line with our life goals.

4 Responses to Start Budgeting!

  1. Slava says:

    How will my life look like as i am 80? Really? For me its more important to ask the question how will my life look like before! After I have really not much left, no? )

    • EY-Team says:

      Dear Slava, thank you one more time for your comment. Exactly as you say in the article stands “When I look back at age 80,…”. But I have to admit, live will go on, even with 80. Have a great day and until next time.

  2. I’m not a big fan of the whole “get rich slow” mentality. I want to be rich and young enough to enjoy it! That’s why I think it’s more important to focus on increasing your sources of income rather than cutting back on expenses.

    • EY-Team says:

      Dear Tony, thank you for stopping by! The idea of increasing income stands ahead of cutting expenses – there is no limit in this direction. But, increasing income can look like a Chinese wall for a young man – no working experience, no money to use, no connections to build on and massive opportunity costs (your mentioned early life enjoyment). Even employee working income is restricted (apart from commission based income, top management or some trading jobs). A substantial working income increase usually comes from switching to self-employment or foundation with involved efforts, risks and chances. On the other hand, capital has no bounds. The more financial assets you have, the easier absolute income increases are.

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