Ask Dave: Don’t most people already know? | Business


Q. You talk a lot about budgeting, and how important it is in getting control of your money. But don’t most people already have a good idea of what they’re spending, and how much they have in the bank, without going through all the time and trouble of developing an actual budget?

A. Well, if that were true, why are people paying billions in overdraft fees every year? Why are so many people deep in debt and living paycheck to paycheck, even without taking the effects of a pandemic into account? It’s because most people don’t really know where their money’s going each month.

Let’s start with a simple definition of budgeting. A budget is just a plan. It’s not a restriction on spending, it’s a strategy for what you’ll do with all your money. It’s tracking what’s coming in and what’s going out. When you…

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