Must-Read: Being a Budget Wizard
I am what you would consider a decent budgeter when it comes to money. Mostly, that’s because I don’t have too much of it and am forced to make sure I spend it wisely. But I am generally able to see how much income I have coming in and deciding where to divert that in order to make my life the best and most efficient. (Which isn’t to say that there aren’t certain months where the bills from alcohol expenditure are way higher than they should be, going over food in some cases. But at least I can see I’m spending that much money on alcohol by looking at my budget.)
All of this is a big and probably unnecessary lead-up to this pretty great article over at AskMen.com about how to partition your budget. Even if you are someone who already maintains a nice budget, it’s a good read to reinforce what you already believe, or maybe even give you a chance to learn a few new tricks, especially in this era where cash is essentially meaningless and unnecessary:
You know why controlling your spending is so hard? Plastic has killed the concept of the transaction cost. By “transaction cost,” we don’t mean the fee you pay at an ATM; the transaction cost exists in your mind. It’s the awareness that you’ve just engaged in a trade of cash for goods or services. You received something, but you spent something to get it.
In the debit era, life has become one big swipe. Whether it’s coffee at a convenience store, a week’s worth of groceries or a high-definition TV, the action is the same: a simple swipe. Our resources have become hopelessly aggregated. This means that in our consciousness, all our money is lumped into one big popcorn tub out in the stratosphere, and we don’t know exactly how much we have or how much we’ve spent this month, because we have overdraft protection and a seemingly limitless credit ceiling.
So go ahead and give it a look-see.
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About Rick Mosely Rick is the editor for TSB magazine.