Quick Hits: Measuring what matters. Keep your budget simple. Tic-tac spice boxes.
What we measure is what is going to matter to us. When you’re struggling to improve and grow, you need to know what it looks like when you’re winning, and track your progress towards your goal. We measure things (whether it’s losing weight, paying off debt, growing a business, or whatever) to let us know when we’re going in the right direction. It keeps us motivated and encouraged. Now, there’s a risk in there, because it works both ways. If you start measuring the wrong thing, that’s what will matter to you. The thing you measure is the thing you will improve, so measure the right thing.
If you’ve spent any time reading here at all, you know that I’m a fan of every home creating a budget for their money every month. If you want to win with money, you have to plan where it’s going to go and how it’s going to grow. Having said that, I’m not a fan of it requiring an overwhelming amount of effort every month to complete. Once you understand the basics, your budget shouldn’t take more than an hour a month to nail down, and you should take advantage of almost every opportunity to simplify how your money comes and goes, as long as you are still in control of it. I love spending cash out of an envelope, for example, because it makes you feel money and alters your spending habits. Automated payments, though, can bite you in the butt if your job status suddenly changes, so be careful.
When I last went camping with the guys, I got to take care of the food. Juggling all of the little containers of spices for dinner would have been a whole lot more simple, if I had seen this first.