Budgets Don’t Matter, People Do What They Have To Do

If I were to do something else for a living I think I would enjoy doing something related to personal finance. Not only do I like studying personal finance for my own good but I deal with personal financial issues a great deal as a pastor and a chaplain. So I listen to quite a few podcasts on personal (and broader) financial issues, as well we reading as much as I can on the subject. Here are the personal finance podcasts that I am listening to right now (I listen to every episode of the ones in bold) :

Anyhow, I recently heard a podcast that took a famous line from Vice President Dick Cheney and reshaped it for good personal financial advice for the new year. The quote is “deficits don’t matter”. The paraphrase, which I believe was from “Stacking Benjamins” (but I’m not sure), is “‘budgets’ don’t matter” with “people do what they have to do” added to it. The point was that if you are trying to increase saving/retirement don’t start by combing through your budget (if you have one) trying to find spare dollars. Instead setup an additional automatic deduction for a small amount to go to your saving/retirement forcing yourself to adjust to it.

The mindset is that if you have to find the spare money you never will, but you will adjust to money that is “missing” because it was automatically removed from your funds. If you do this each year your savings will slowly but surely go up significantly. If you aren’t saving at all this will get you started at a pace at which you can and will adjust. If you aren’t saving enough for retirement (the amount depends upon the age you started saving and how much you have already saved) this will help get you a little closer each year.

Get a raise? Adjust your saving/retirement. Smartly decided to search your current expenses and found something you no longer needed (finally stopped your Columbia House Music Club subscription) take the money you just found at adjust your saving/retirement. Each little bit adds up till you are at an amount that reaches your goals.

Every little bit makes a difference in taking control of your finances. If you don’t control your finances they will control you. At any rate, I obviously bumped our retirement contribution up a little bit. 🙂

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