To some people, their income and outgo are just numbers. But to the budget-savvy among us, those numbers are important and tell the whole story!
Budgeters have a knack for seeing how the numbers work and making those numbers work for them. That skill includes everything from knowing which bills have been paid, to what you can spend on next month’s beach getaway, to how much you’ll have at retirement.
So in honor of those who love planning their money moves, we present our list of things that only budget-savvy people will understand. How many of these do you identify with?
1. It’s fun to talk about the budget.
You enjoy a full-fledged money discussion over dinner, a casual talk in the car or a late-night chat while watching Jimmy Fallon. That enthusiasm works best in your budget meetings, so focus it there.
2. Your budget spreadsheet needs an index page.
You know exactly where to click to find out which month your electric bill spiked or how much you spent on Christmas gifts last year. That’s great because it gives you clues about certain expenses, which makes it easier to plan for them.
3. There’s a thrill that comes from seeing a zero-based budget.
You budget for your groceries, entertainment and utilities—and get those numbers right. Your income and outgo equal zero. Every dollar has a name and a purpose. It makes you want to high-five somebody!
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4. You know what each paycheck pays for.
Whether it’s buying weekly groceries from a weekly salary or using part of your mid-month paycheck to snag tickets to next month’s Bon Jovi concert, dividing the money out is a snap for you. The money goes everywhere you want it to go and nowhere you don’t.
5. You don’t mind paying bills.
In fact, it’s actually kind of fun! You love knowing that you are doing your part to keep the lights on and the fridge stocked. Hold on to that positive attitude. Who knows? It could rub off on someone else.
6. A special occasion is another reason to budget.
Planning a special evening out for your anniversary? Heading to the beach for a well-deserved vacation? Yay! Let’s think of all the things we should budget for. Making your plan is almost as much fun as the event itself. Almost.
7. Getting a tax refund bothers you.
Not that having money is bad. It’s just that . . . well, your gut reaction to getting an IRS check is to divide it by 12 to see how much your monthly income would increase. Make it happen! Adjust your withholdings and bring home that bacon 12 times a year instead of one.
Related: Get all your tax questions answered.
8. You like to reconcile your account balance.
You never know when the amount on your bank statement could be different than what you paid at the restaurant or body shop. That’s why you prefer checking your balance every couple of days (Okay, let’s be honest: You’d be cool with doing it every day).
9. You’ve probably made a graph of your debt snowball progress.
As a budgeter, you enjoy seeing where you’ve been just as much as where you are going. Having a visual reminder of when you kicked out Sallie Mae or finished the emergency fund keeps you pumped about doing the Baby Steps.
10. Numbers are your friends.
Those numbers tell you if there’s a problem. They let you know if you have enough money this month or if you need to tighten the reins a little. Numbers shoot straight with you, and there’s no hiding behind fluff.
11. If there’s a change, the budget should be updated immediately.
You want your budget to be up-to-the-minute like that bottom-line ticker on the evening news. That means being able to make changes ASAP. You can make those updates fast and easy with the EveryDollar app. It’s mobile and moves at the speed of you.
12. Somewhere, you have another list of your debts.
Debts should be listed smallest to largest, and that’s how you do it. But maybe, before you were convinced the debt snowball is the way to pay, you wrote your debts differently—highest to lowest interest rate, for example. Did you ever throw that other list away?
13. You budget for this year . . . and next year . . . and keep a record of last year.
It’s fun to budget for this month, but why stop there? You could spend all day making your saving-and-spending plan for this Christmas or that 2017 theme park getaway. If you're unsure about those costs, never fear: Last year’s plan makes a handy guide.
14. You see how short-term habits connect to long-term money goals.
For you, it’s a snap to see how saving money each month leads to a nice car, a debt-free degree or a comfortable retirement. Once you figure out your goal, you don’t need to spend much time kicking it around. You just kick it into gear!
Making a plan and keeping track of the money aren’t always the easiest things to do, but the budget savvy among us sure make it look that way!
Tell your money where to go instead of wondering where it went. We have tools and info to make it easy to do just that.