Excitement Can Be a Bad Thing

by Steve Mitchell

Lucie and I decided we very much need to set up and follow a budget.

It isn’t glamorous.  It isn’t exciting.

But it sure beats our usual approach to finances which is spend, spend, spend…umm, better check our finances, HOLY MOLY! STOP! STOP SPENDING! STOP! okay, juggle juggle juggle, whew!  made it ’til payday, all right, spend, spend, spend ….

And so on.

Who needs that kind of excitement?

So.

We wanted software which would let us sync our mobile devices and tell us at a glance how much money we have budgeted for what.

We searched around and downloaded YNAB (You Need A Budget.)  We’ve only used the software a week; we’re not even through the free trial period.  So far, though, it fits our needs and we intend to buy it.

I like it.

Besides being able to sync our devices, and besides all the online tutorials and support, what I really like about YNAB is its emphasis on building a one month buffer so that you can budget and pay this month’s expenses with last month’s income.  The makers of the software also have strategies and information on how to save and build that buffer.

I like the concept because it eliminates the need to project and predict your income.  There’s no guesswork or hypothetical place holding.  You know exactly how much money you have to spend and you can budget for every single dollar.

I also like it because it means there’s no scheduling bill payments to coincide with upcoming paychecks.  Now, when a bill comes in, I can just pay it straight away.

So far, so good.  I’ve spent much more time looking at my bank account than I’m used to, but it isn’t much added work.  It’s just more added attention.  It’s just keeping better track of things.  I guess attention is the name of the budget game.

It isn’t exciting.

No.

Maybe, though, I’ll save up and buy a smoking jacket and an ascot to wear while I budget.

Ooh, yeah.

That’d be glamorous.

That’d be glamorous and classy.

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