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Do You Really Need a Personal Budget Planner?

You've seen all the plans for personal budget planners. It's as if the coolness of the device will somehow give you more money in the pocket. You've probably seen the ones for excel, which plot out pie charts, bar charts, neat tables, and everything else.

But no matter how much frosting you put on top, it doesn't make the cake have more dough. The bottom line is, a paper personal budget planner will work as well or better than a fancy computerized one. It isn't about how the personal budget planner looks, it’s about using it. And for most people, me included, it is much easier to do figures and planning with the tactile feedback of pen and paper than with some abstract and overly convoluted personal budget planner on the screen. For me, the problem isn't the personal budget planner that I use. Nice, elegant, simple, leather bound – it has no problems with it. The problem used to be that I simply didn't use the personal budget planner enough. I was making money – a lot of money – working for a small internet startup rapidly growing into a big internet startup, and yeah maybe I was living above my means. But my means were so great that, once I even started making the most rudimentary use of my personal budget planner, it did not take my means all that long to catch up.

After I took my new job as a systems administrator, after the dot com crash, I thought that the problem was still that I wasn't making good use of my personal budget planner. I felt like I was always broke, like I always had some bill or other hanging over me and disturbing my sleep, and I was always in some kind of deep trouble. It took me a while to realize that my problems had nothing to do with the personal budget planner. My problems had a lot to do with me making very little money, however.

It was then that I knew that I needed to take a second job to really balance my budget. After a lot of looking, I landed a job coding engines for a knockoff mp3 player. Boring work, but it pays the bills. Now, even when I do neglect my personal budget planner for a week or so, it is okay. You see, I still have some money in my budget to plan!


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