The Diary of a Budgeter – Day 35

Bobbi Olson Articles, The Diary of a Budgeter

The Money Toolbox

Scott made some tasty breakfast sandwiches this morning – we both agreed they were much better than the McMuffins at McDonald’s. His only complaint: he can’t get the egg into the perfect round shape we get at the golden arches.

The solution? A better tool! I’m sure McDonald’s is using some form of the egg rings you can buy to create that perfect circle. We have some, but they’re messy and don’t work well. So until we decide it’s important enough to buy a better tool, we’ll just enjoy our homemade McMuffins as they are.

This made me think how everything is easier with the right tools – and how some of us (myself included) spend years doing things the hard way, before discovering how much time & money can be saved by using the right tools. I fought this notion because I saw it as paying for a convenience I couldn’t afford.

I’ve come to understand the idea of working smart, not hard. In fact, there are times when working hard costs more than working smart, even if working smart means spending a bit more up front.

When I started using YNAB for budgeting, I had a hard time justifying the cost. Why pay for it, if I could budget manually and save the money? But the time I saved was WELL worth it, not to mention it got me excited, made me want to learn more about budgeting and saving. It inspired me to do better with my money all around! That never would have happened if I’d kept doing it manually. For many, the time saved is the difference between budgeting routinely and quitting because it takes too long.

Some people have housekeepers. Is this a justified cost? We’re all capable of cleaning our own homes. But what if you paid someone to clean your home and used that time to work a side hustle, where you made twice as much as you paid the housekeeper?

Money is a tool that makes life easier. You choose how many tools you have, what you use your tools for and how best to use them. You also choose how to store and separate them, to make sure you always have the right tools, and enough of them, for any job that comes your way.

Your budget is like your toolbox – it categorizes, monitors and tracks your money, to make sure you always have what you need! Keep your toolbox tidy and it will serve you well. Throw everything in one container or leave them laying around and you’ll have a mess to sift through every time you need something – or you might dig and find out you don’t have the right ones, or enough of them to do the job!

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