A Budget Book In A Digital World

Posted by Sunday, February 21, 2016 0 1

I’ve written previously about budget apps, so if you follow along here you might be wondering why I felt the need to get a physical book to tell me just how poorly I’m spending my money each week.

I’ve become a more pen and paper person recently with the addition of my Erin Condren Life Planner into my daily routine. And because planning by hand really seems to help me stay focused and on top of things I thought budgeting by hand might be more helpful than using one of the several apps I’ve recommended before that assist you in balancing out your financial profile. And it is more helpful. A little too helpful.

There is something about seeing things in print that makes them harder for me to swallow than when I read them off a screen.

For instance, because I’ve gone “paperless” with all my bank statements I don’t remember the last time I read one. But when they used to come in the mail I would normally just recycle them  immediately anyway because if I looked too long at how much I spent on coffee I would cry.

So my kikki.K budget book came in the mail last weekend and this was the first week I used it to record my spending habits. And after Tuesday I didn’t want to do it anymore. I had to force myself to go through my receipts at the end of the day, as this also forced me to actually ask for receipts so I could remember how much I tipped and the like, and record my poor decisions. Why did I order lunch three times??? Was that really necessary after spending over $100 on groceries??? Ya, it sucked.

But tonight was the hardest, as I had the pleasure of tallying up how much I spent this week (and on what). Having it there in print, and trying to find ways to justify it, was way harder than opening up my Mint app to check my spending. The app I can swipe away in a second if I don’t like what I see. That book sits on my desk judging me all year.

Now there are reasons I spent more this week than usual. It was Ethan’s birthday and we went out to celebrate. We were restocking the fridge with our regular food after completing our Whole30. I had to work late multiple times so ordering food to the office was necessary a few times. But really, there were times when money did not need to be spent at all.

This coming week I have scheduled as a “no spend” week in my planner. We will see how that goes. But along with using the budget book to shame myself into spending less and saving more, I’m going to test out using cash more often as a little experiment.

See I hardly ever carry cash (it’s actually a big problem) and that might be the root of some poor spending choices; as I think the swipe of a debit card is forgotten in an instant, whereas that $20 you had to break will haunt you for the rest of the day.


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