I'm Done Budgeting. I Quit.

I Quit BudgetingI’m tired of it. Sick about it. Through with it. Finished. Fertig. Done.

I can’t stand knowing exactly what my money is doing at all times. It’s so obedient! My money just sits there, looking up at me like some dependent, too-young-too-realize-how-things-work puppy just out of obedience school waiting for me to give it some type of command — just so it can march off and execute my plan to a level of perfection found only in military brigades and the Von Trapp family.

Oh sure, I can tell you how much I spent on groceries during 2004, 2005, 2– anyway, I can tell you those things. Easily. But what do I have to show for it? A keen sense of how my life plays out financially? An uncanny ability to forecast (to within ten dollars) what we’ll spend in any given category during virtually any given month? (On average, we all know there are no perfectly normal months).

Really. What do I have to show for it? Instead of filling my head with this useless information (wow, housing costs are how much in relation to the rest of our spending, is this a problem we should talk about?) I could have been really getting to know the new people on Survivor. Now I can’t even name them!

Oh, it gets worse. My wife and I we…we talk about things like what kind of financial goals we have. She actually openly shares her feelings about things like retirement goals, aspirations, kids’ college etc. And you know what? It gets much worse. She spends money and doesn’t feel guilty about it.

How am I supposed to handle that? Huh? So yeah, when we were budgeting we would sit down at the beginning of the month and plan where to spend our money, and then yeah–uh–I guess she felt fine about buying the stuff we had planned to buy. Okay, when I write it out like this it doesn’t seem that hard to handle, but — eh — you get my point right? I mean, spending = guilt. We learn that as soon as we get our free t-shirt from those Visa people on campus.

Budgeting’s making me lose my edge. That’s one of the big problems. I used to be able to tell you exactly how much money I had in my checking account.

$10.12. Boom.

$18.45. Bam!

($25.40). Zing! (Yeah, it was overdrafted a few times. I didn’t think they’d cash the check. It had been three weeks!)

Now though. Seriously, if I want to know my bank balance I have to login to my bank and check. It’s in the thousands, I know that. But beyond that I’m not sure. Wait — yeah, it’s something like $6,000 (well, $1.5k is for property takes, which are due in six weeks, $200 of that is for groceries for the rest of this month, and we’re saving for Christmas so we can pay cash — that’s $800 of it, with a goal of hitting $1,000 before The Season rolls around–UGAHHHHHH! YOU SEE WHAT’S HAPPENING? WHAT KIND OF PSYCHO AM I? WHO DOES THAT?)

Whew! Anyway, that six grand, that’s a ballpark figure. And that’s what’s killing me! Every morning, first thing, I used to check my bank balance. And then again when I got to work because I had just bought some stuff on the way and wanted to be sure there was still enough to be able to buy lunch that day and — OH NO I TOTALLY FORGOT I NEEDED TO BE ABLE TO PUT IN AT LEAST 2 GALLONS OF GAS TO GET HOME.

Where was I?

Right. So I miss that daily “interaction” with my bank balance. It’s like it doesn’t even know I’m there anymore. It just “does its own thing” making me feel all secure and confident — as if money could make me feel confident. Everyone knows confidence comes from looks–the main contributors being well built-out delts and rippling pecs.

So I quit. I’m through. It’s done. We are OVER.

When I first started, it felt okay, you know? I would still enter transactions daily and look at my bank balance a lot and all that stuff. But then this totally weird thing started happening:

I think we started spending less money. I couldn’t tell you for sure because before we started budgeting I have no idea how much we were spending… but I noticed that I didn’t need to enter as many transactions after several months. Maybe each transaction was just a larger amount? No… OH! That’s probably where the 6 Gs came from that are in my checking account! That’s like “old spending” that I haven’t gotten around to spending yet!

Yeah, this budgeting thing, it’s just completely changed my life. I’ve got to stop. I think there’s a 12-step program out there somewhere for people like me, you know, people that are reaching their financial goals, don’t feel guilty about spending money, have great communication with their spouse, etc.

Hi. My name is Jesse and I’m a budgeter.

“Hi Jesse…”