Common wisdom has it that if you create a budget you will save money. Creating a budget also is a responsible adult thing to do, blah, blah, blah. "They" also say you should balance your checkbook, well I don't do that either. I never even thought about a budget until I got married and had to combine finances. My idea of a budget was when I ran out of money then I quit spending, which isn't quite as irresponsible as it sounds. I didn't have a credit card that I charged things on so I was just spending what I had.
Then I got married and my husband was giving me money when I needed it, that was a pretty cool situation for a little while. However, when I spent $200 in one day and wanted more money let's just say my husband was "concerned". I wanted more money (I mean I hadn't even bought any books yet, come on!). Well of course my husband wanted to know where I spent the money, a reasonable request I thought. So I told him I spent $30 on gas, $50 at the doctors, $40 at the grocery store (on his cigarettes if I recall correctly), $30 on a birthday present for my nephew, $20 on these really cute shoes, and I still had some money left.
So he was relieved and offered me more money. At this point I could have just taken the money and moved on but, I wanted to know how much money I could spend. Since this wasn't just my income and my bills anymore I didn't want to spend $20 on really cute shoes if we hadn't paid the water bill yet! So I kept asking, "How much is my money?". It took a while before my husband understood the question but, I wanted to know. If you give me a goal I am pretty good at meeting it but, I didn't know the goal.
This opened a whole new discussion! So we started talking about how much we made together and things we had to pay (car, rent, etc.).
Okay, you have to ask yourself - How often is it that the "adult responsible thing to do" also works out as the thing that is best for you? (You don't have to admit the answer out loud if you don't want to). I know in my case it happens way too often. So now the girl who still doesn't balance her checkbook is touting the effectiveness of budgets, who knew?