Do You Have a Leaky Budget?

We’ve all heard the phrase, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!” Whether or not you agree with it, it’s here to stay. 

So what if it IS broke? Do you fix it tomorrow? Or maybe next week? Next year?  If you have water leaking from your kitchen sink, shouldn’t there be a little more urgency?  Like, fix it NOW!!!

What if what is broken is less tactile and feels a bit more abstract…like your personal finances? One area where this is likely to pop up is budgeting and tracking.  In other words, paying attention to those pesky details.  Maybe you are a budgeting nerd like me and you enjoy this, or maybe you find yourself on the other side of the spectrum.

man reading paper in "rain" in his kitchen. Woman behind him with an umbrella

Maybe this is an area of challenge for you.  You have a budget …mostly. And you have some idea what is going on in the checking account…usually. You get the bills paid and still can turn the lights on in your house to see at night. That should be good enough…right? Why change this if it seems to be working for you?  It isn’t broken.  Not according to what works for you.  

That may be true or maybe it’s just that you are keeping that leaky budget together with duct tape and a prayer.

woman looking at leaky pipe under sink while on the phone

Consider that just because something is technically “working” doesn’t necessarily mean it is serving you like it ought to.  Maybe the tool(s) you are using to manage the money are keeping your head above water but they aren’t propelling you forward to where you want to be. 

It isn’t really about the tool itself. You could have all of the fancy financial tools in the world, but without the correct approach you will still find yourself drowning. In fact, you could argue that if a thing isn’t being utilized to its fullest purpose, that in one respect, it is broken.  Rather, the one using the thing is using it in a less-than capacity.  It would be like having a power tool without using the power function.

The point here, is to use the tool we have at our disposal to help us measure our progress towards something more meaningful and fulfilling.  Namely, the family vision.

couple budgeting together

So, is the money management system broken?  Are you meaningfully closer to where you want to be today than you were yesterday? If you are getting closer to where you want to be, then it probably is fine to carry on with this system. If not, then it’s time to assess how you are using your family vision. 

Take a look.  Measure where you are in relationship to where you are going and ask yourself:

“Is this good enough?”  

“Did I move the needle enough?” 

“Are the financial tools I use serving me in getting to live in and out of the Family Vision?”  

“Do the tools need to change?” 

“Do I need to change how I am using the tools?”

Let’s ramp up the urgency to get your budget and tracking on track using your famil vision!

Picture of Dino Biaggi

Dino Biaggi

Dino oversees education and provides financial mentoring.He has worked in two financial aid offices and was on the scholarship committee at Mt. Hood Community College. As a former BCS participant, Dino’s familiarity with BCS makes him a perfect fit to oversee our financial literacy program.