I hate budgets.
I hate tracking my spending.
I hate counting down to the dollar or cent.
In fact, I don’t really want to think about what I spend at all.
I want to send my investments to my brokerage, auto-pay my bills, and move on with my life.
That's why I have a visceral reaction to personal finance "experts" who insist that you have to track every penny for the rest of your life to achieve any level of financial freedom.
Yes, it’s important to know where your money is going.
And yes, a one-time assessment of your spending is a critical part of getting your money on track.
But tracking every penny everyday forever? Not necessary.
Pareto’s Law: 20% of the activities are responsible for 80% of the results.
So sure, you can keep a little notepad for writing down the 37 cents you saved on budget trash bags, and hope that the bag doesn’t rip open on your way to the chute.
You can automate your investments, auto-pay your bills, and spend whatever you want on everything else.
In fact, here’s my rough “budget” from a couple of years ago.
Now, this is pretty boring.
At the time, I ate basically the same breakfast and lunch everyday (cinnamon cashew latte and strawberry-banana smoothie, Trader Joe’s salad or simple sandwich made at home), but I enjoyed that. I didn’t have to expend mental energy deciding what to eat.
I typically “splurged” on dinner: sushi or tacos another meal at the restaurant of my choice after work. Even if I ate dinner out nightly, I typically averaged ~$10/night for a grand total of $300/month.
And although the numbers are a bit different these days, I basically enjoy the same anti-budget.
Not even sophistic.
But simple and effective.
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