The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty. Proverbs 21:5
Ok, so if "plans" lead to profit, what does "plan" mean in financial terms? You got it -- having a budget.
This was my pastor's recent comment -- that you couldn't be successful financially without at least a simple budget. I have to agree (though I would say you need more planning than just a budget, but that's for another post.)
I had a budget for years and years. In my 20's, I developed a budget annually and updated it monthly. In my early 30's, I developed a budget annually and updated it quarterly. In my late 30's, I developed a budget annually and updated it semi-annually -- then moved to annual updates. And now that I'm in my 40's, I've gotten to the point where I don't use a budget.
I do track my spending the same way I've done for most of my life (through Quicken), but I don't go back over the expenses as much on a regular basis. That's the reward for years and years of budgeting -- that you eventually get to the place where you don't need to do it any longer, and yet your spending remains under control and you make progress in growing your net worth (FYI, I do look over my Quicken spending categories regularly to make sure they aren't getting out of whack.)
How about you -- do you budget?
For more budgeting tips, see It's Budgeting Time of the Year.