My husband is the logical, analytical type. He hates guessing. If there are facts to deal with, he will make an educated guess, but he will never guess for the sake of guessing. Sometimes it drives me and the kids crazy. We’ll say “I know you don’t know, but what do you think? Just guess!” and he just can’t do it.
I, on the other hand, like to speculate and imagine. I like to play out different scenarios in my head and wonder “what if…” about lots of things. Sure, I like facts and educated guesses too, but when there aren’t facts, I think guessing games can be fun.
Some people see budgets as a spreadsheet full of guesses. Guessing how much income they’ll earn. Guessing how they’ll spend it. Guessing what expenses will come up. Guessing whether or not they’ll make ends meet. I’m not a fan of guessing about the budget.
Wouldn’t it revolutionize your budget to remove some of that guesswork? Oh, I’ll be the first one to tell you it does! Living on last month’s income has done that for us. No more guessing for us!
I recently wrote a guest post on this very topic for Jessi– affectionately known as The Budget Mama— for her “21 Days to a Better Budget” series.
It’s fun to guess how many jelly beans are in the jar or if the new baby is a boy or a girl, but playing guessing games with your budget is no fun at all. Of course there are always going to be some unknown details on the expense side of a budget, but what if you took the guesswork out of the income side? What if you knew exactly how much money you had available to budget at the beginning of the month?
Of all the changes we’ve made to our budget over the years, the real game-changer for us was when we decided to get a month ahead of our expenses. Instead of living on next month’s income (by relying on credit cards) or living on this month’s income (living paycheck-to-paycheck), we are living on last month’s income (being a month ahead)!
When we came across the idea, it seemed so obvious that we were amazed we had never thought of it ourselves. In the years since then, we’ve not only seen amazing budgeting success, we’ve actually come to love working our budget. Living on last month’s income is both intuitive and ingenious…
…Continue reading at The Budget Mama
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