- Tracking Expenses. This should be a low-maintenance activity at this point, with the available options (such as Mint, for example) that are out there.
- Preparing Personal Balance Sheets. This entails looking at your assets and liabilities, to determine your net worth. This can be done periodically, to give you a snapshot at a given point in time of where you are.
I personally do both at this point. To me, it makes sense to know where your money is going, and how you’re doing overall in terms of money.
With respect to the later, the idea of tracking expenses has seemingly become a bit more mainstream, or at least so I thought. After all, as I mentioned it’s so easy to do – and quite responsible to do as well. The chatter on personal finance blogs – including this one – tends to support this view.
I had a conversation the other day where I brought up the topic of tracking expenses. Now, I’m pretty sure I bring up the idea of saving money more than the typical person out there, even though I’m not completely conscious of it at the moment. It’s just second nature, and a part of how I think.
There person with whom I was having a conversation looked at me and said “Seriously? You actually take the time to micromanage your money to that extent?”
At first I thought she was kidding, but I then stated that yes, I do actually micromanage money to that extent, and it also doesn’t take much time to do it either.
Her response: “Oh, I could NEVER do that. It takes the spontanaeity and fun out of shopping, I would think.”
I was stunned for a moment, finding it hard to believe that someone who was bright and well-educated could actually be stunned for the opposite reason: that I took the time to track expenses. It was almost like a totally foreign concept to her that she had never heard of. It was someone reminiscent of the epsoides I documented in a post I wrote on crazy things people said about money.
Anyway, It got me thinking that there is some real value to ignoring what many people might say about personal finance, even if they think you’re foolish for something you believe in.
It’s apparently not mainstream to do things such as track expenses. Who knew?
However, even if someone teases you for being frugal, measuring your financial performance, side hustles, personal finance blogging, or whatever – don’t sweat it. Ignore them. Do what you think is responsible!
They’ll be coming to you years down the road for advice anyway
My Questions for You
Have you ever encountered someone who basically rejected good personal finance habits?
What do you do when you have a discussion about money with such a person?
What are some financially responsible habits you have that you think others you know might not understand?