What's on Annie's mind this week? Keeping up with the Joneses


This week I would like you to start thinking about your personal budget. Do you budget your personal finances like your business finances? I do. I have a 5-tab Excel spreadsheet that I look at probably once a day if not twice a day...but my husband, Michael and I look it over together during our date nights on Friday. Is that weird? I don't think so.

Michael and I have a very healthy financial relationship. It took us a little bit of time for us to get to where we are now. In my last marriage we had no financial relationship which was one of the huge factors why we divorced. With Michael it took me a while to understand that he is not attacking me when he asked why did I buy that dress on Amazon when I already have a closet of dresses. The first few times he asked me this question about my purchases I became offended. Why is he telling me how I can spend my money?

He was not attacking me nor telling me how to spend my money, he wanted to really know why the hell did I need another pink dress when I had three of them. I laugh out-loud while writing this just thinking about how my face looked as I reacted to his observation that I have three pink dresses already. Why did I need another pink dress? And I really did not need another pink dress... 

Before you try to keep up with the Joneses, be sure they're not trying to keep up with you.
~Erma Bombeck

My parents lived beyond their means because they wanted to keep up with the Joneses. Which taught me to want to also be competitive when it came to who had the fanciest car, watch, dress, house...this did not make me a good budget conscious person. In fact when I started making good money I did not save nor spend wisely and I was always on the brink of a financial disaster but my business was not. Why didn't I use the same financial tactics I had with my business and use them for my personal budget?

With this new gained knowledge I sat down and turned my business financial spreadsheets into my new personal budget spreadsheets. It was honestly that easy. And the spreadsheets have evolved over the years but I still use the same simple principles I use for my business.

Sometimes I kick myself because it took me almost 10 years to figure this out but my ego and my need to keep up with Joneses were just standing in the way.