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Jour 68: A brief history of my failure at budgeting


Happy International Women's Day, y'all!

So, it's Women's Money Week and that means that my colleagues and peeps in the PF blogosphere have been writing so much brilliant stuff about money and budgeting and relationships and everything. And I have come to realize that I'm... not much of a personal finance blogger at the moment.

For instance, the theme for Wednesday was supposed to be "saving and investing." I had literally nothing to write on that topic - literally nothing - because I'm too focused on paying down my debt to have any wiggle room to save. Investing? Isn't that what people do in Michael Douglas movies? Nothing to do with my life.

Investing money means you have to grease your hair back and be a horrible human being, right?

Today's theme for Women's Money Week is Budgeting. And again, I have little to offer other than my own vague past attempts at budgeting.

1) When I was a kid, my parents kept encouraging me to write down my budget in a variety of notebooks (that they had gotten for free and/or cheap and gave to  me). I always set out the proper colums, dutifully wrote in a purchase or two... and then totally forgot about it. It was such a pain to keep track of what I spent and to write it down at the end of the day. So, I never really did it.

This is obviously not me as a little girl. Can you guess who it is?
Little Audrey Hepburn! Ladylike even as a little kid.

2) I have tried budget jars (hi, Gail Vaz-Oxlade!), but it seemed kind of risky to have jars full of money sitting out in the open in your house. So, what I did was I put every receipt into the appropriate jars and then did a tally at the end of the month. Guess what happened? I first forgot to get receipts everywhere I went, I then forgot to put the receipts in the appropriate jars and then I forgot to balance at the end of every month.

3) Enter Mint.com (Canada)! This worked out pretty great for a few months, as it allows you to set up budgets, it synchs with your online banking info, and it automatically shows you when you are over or underspent in each budget. I just... gradually stopped using it. And now it's being all like, "please reconfirm your banking info" and I do, but it still doesn't work, so screw that.

Sometimes I just want to be glamourously lazy a la Marlene Dietrich.
Is that so wrong? (*Note: yes, I know it is, when it comes to budgeting)

I just really, really, really hate budgeting. I kind of like to think it will all work itself out...ish. Right? (*Note: this explains a lot about why I'm not getting any new debt, but can't seem to shake my old debt)

What are your secrets for budgeting? Is there any way to do it when you're profoundly lazy and really, really hate budgeting?

1 comment:

Lindy Mint said...

I am equally not good with budgeting. Mint worked for a season, but then became too much work. Then there's the fact that there are two of us with debit cards, making things more complicated still. Budgeting for four individuals can be the pits.

I opened up a separate savings account to compile our money for debt repayment. Now when I want to pay more, I just make the automatic transfer bigger. It's a passive aggressive method, but works out in the end.

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