Why I Don’t Use a Budget
The vocabulary word of the day is gamification. For my fellow millennial friends, I’m talking about Snapchat streaks. For anybody who doesn’t know what Snapchat streaks are, gamification is the use of game characteristics (point scoring, competition, etc) to incentivize an action.
The power of gamification is unquestionable. If you have sent someone a Snapchat every day for the last 147 days, despite not having anything to tell them you’re going to send another one to bump your number up to 148 the next day, guaranteed. Even though that number doesn’t actually mean anything.
The good news is that you can harness the power of gamification to improve your life. Many people have already done this, competing with friends to take the most steps in a day.
I personally use spending gamification instead of a budget. I understand that budgets are useful tools, but I also think they lock you in to a specific spending level, and there’s no incentive to improve further.
I track all of my spending each month, and each month I try to spend a little bit less than I did the month before. I spent $40 eating out last month? Let’s see if I can spend less than $30 on eating out this month! This reinforces my spending goals with an exciting challenge, instead of the boring, “How much is in my budget?”
This gamification technique also requires less work than a budget. All you have to do is keep track of what you’re spending, and usually your bank or credit card company does that for you!
So I challenge you to give it a try. Bonus points if you compete with a friend, and see who can spend the least amount on eating out/gas/groceries/clothes/alcohol for the next month. Good luck, and enjoy the game! #MoneyGoals
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