What is a Normal Month? Take a moment to think about what that means to you. Does it mean that you are spending exactly what you expect on your bills? Does it mean that you have no surprise expenses? Does it mean that you are able to pay your groceries in full, and have a little left over?
The next question is, when was the last time you had a Normal Month? Many of you probably already know that it is a bit of a trick question. There is no such thing as a “Normal Month”. We live lives that are beautiful, complex, vexing, and wonderful. To have perfectly normal, average months, month after month, it would mean that we are living exactly normal, average, completely predictable lives. And even if that was possible, is that really what you want from your life?
Sure some unexpected events we could do without. The furnace breaks, or the alternator dies. We end up having less income than usual. Of course we don’t want that! But some things are wonderful. For example, I got the chance to go on a spa day with friends recently. I chose to spend more, so that I could join them. Maybe family comes into town and you want to treat them, take them out to the local sights or to a nice restaurant for dinner. Maybe you get accepted to an artist retreat in France. Whatever it is, you don’t want to constrict your budget so much that you can’t take advantage of the exciting opportunities life tosses you.
So don’t put it off: “I’ll start budgeting when I finally have a Normal Month.” Instead commit: “I’ll start budgeting now, so I never have to be caught flat-footed by the wild, crazy wonderful swings in life!”