Problem #38: Why should I pay attention to my budget, and do I need to make some financial adjustments regularly?
Personal finance seems to be one of those topics that most people don’t like to talk about. It almost has a stigma attached to it. We don’t discuss religion, politics, baseball, and now – money. Everyone goes about their own routine minding their own business. If you were looking around, it would seem that the majority of people have their finances under control. This is simply not true. Why do we think it’s somehow ‘against the rules’ to discuss money? We all could use some financial adjustments every now and then.
Perhaps we’re afraid of offending others by telling them they are wrong? But does our money take care of itself? Absolutely not! You have to manage it – actively.If you don't pay attention to your money, you soon will have no money to pay attention to. Click To Tweet
This is a PROBLEM.
Let’s switch gears for a minute. Let’s talk about another comfortable topic. -sarcasm.
A Moment At the Dentist’s Office
When was the last time you went to the dentist? I was there recently for a routine cleaning. It certainly was not a highlight of my day.
I sat down in the chair nervously. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. The small talk didn’t last very long. “How are you today?”
“I’m well, I had a great weekend. Nice weather outside – finally – right?” I was waiting for the question.
“Have you been flossing regularly?”
There it was. Of course, I had flossed . . . some. I mean, what does regularly mean anyway? If I flossed once a month, that could be defined as ‘regularly’ – right? But I knew that wasn’t the right answer. I should have been flossing every day. So, I knew I had to face the music. I told the hygienist the truth. And braced myself internally for the pain that was sure to follow.
Sure enough, she grabbed her tools and went to work.
While the metal instruments of torture (I know, I know – they are nice people . . . ) were scraping my teeth, I was thinking how uncomfortable this whole process was. I mean, really, how many of you like to take trips to the dentist? I can still hear, and feel, the picks and scrapers in my mouth. Some of you are squirming in your chair right now just thinking about it.
If I had flossed regularly, the visit would have gone much smoother for me. The pain and discomfort would have been minimized. Of course you can’t get every spot of tartar or plaque, but I’m sure I could do a better job than I did.
What did I learn from my trip to the dentist?
Just as warning – there may be a few dental puns abound in the next section. Proceed at your own risk.
Going to the dentist can be a lot like checking up on your finances. If you maintain and floss your budget, when it comes time to check up on your budget, it can be painless. You may make an adjustment here or a tweak there, and then you move on with your day. Your daily work and effort pays off, because you’re right on schedule to meet or exceed your financial goals. “Great job.” It would have been nice to hear the dental hygienist say that to me.
On the flip-side, if you haven’t been flossing your budget or brushing up on your personal finances principles (see what I did there?), you’re in for a tough time. Your budget will need loads of scraping to pull out all the extra tartar and plaque that should be trashed. In other words, you’ve been spending in areas that need to be trimmed. I know it can be painful to scrape so much out of your budget at once. But if you don’t it will only get worse.
Why don’t we make financial adjustments?
I think there may be a few reasons why most people don’t pay attention to their finances.
- Perhaps because they’re afraid of what they might find. Sometimes they think, “If I just ignore the problems – maybe they’ll go away?” However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. There’s an old saying that says, “What you pay attention to will thrive.”
- Maybe they just don’t know how to budget, or they lack other basic personal finance principles like paying off debt, saving, or tracking their expenses. It’s true that the lack of financial education is rampant. Check out this great post over at Get Rich Quickish. The good news is there are many resources available to help to educate. You’re here aren’t you? (To make sure you don’t miss any great information you can sign up below to receive each new post e-mail directly to you. Don’t worry, if you don’t like what you see you can unsubscribe at any time.)
- Sometimes we think there isn’t enough time. We have so much to do. We fill our days with meetings, work, sports, and family time. When can we possibly sit down to adjust the budget?
Related: Check out this Previous post about budgeting your time.
You need to pay attention to your finances. You can’t simply ignore them. Your debt will increase, and your money will disappear.
Learn your spending habits so you can make small financial adjustments regularly. If you don’t yet have a budget – you need to create one.
This post can help: A Budget is a Plan to Find Money
The truth is: you simply have to make your financial adjustments a priority. You can’t afford not to.
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