Running naked is like living without a budget

I ran 11 miles yesterday. Naked.

That probably got your attention. Actually, what I mean by “naked” is that I ran without my Garmin GPS watch, which will tell me my distance and pace. These watches are a great tool for almost any athlete. I’ve had mine for over a year now and it revolutionized my running because it gave me all sorts of great data that I could use to compare against different training runs.

I charged my watch the night before my run to make sure it was ready to go. But I went to turn it on as I was prepping to make my way out the front door, but nothing. No sign of life on the thing. Well, darn. I grabbed my ‘regular’ watch that would at least give me my overall time as a last resort.

I am thankful that I had the opportunity to do a long run without my Garmin because I had a little epiphany about life and money. As I was on my run, the only data I had was the total time I had run. I didn’t have my GPS to tell me if I had started out too fast or if I was being too conservative with my pace. It was all based on feeling and I “hoped” that I was running at a consistent pace but there was always a question in my mind of whether I would run out of energy too soon, or not push myself enough and finish too slow. Sometimes it can be good to run ‘naked’ and not be tied to a watch but in this case I equate running “naked” with living life without a financial budget.

Think about it. You’re going along and make a few purchases at the beginning of the month. No biggie. Maybe a few more swipes of the debit or credit card a few days later. Go out for lunch. Then go out to dinner the same day. Maybe you only order an entrée instead of a drink to go with it. It still adds up. All the while, you’re running “naked”, not able to track how much is being spent or how much you’re allowed to spend, based on a budget.

I am still learning how to improve and simplify our budgeting process. I definitely made it too complicated in the beginning, and that wasn’t appetizing to Sarah. Oh, and I didn’t include her in the conversation. I just said “this is what we’re doing”. Where’s the teamwork in that? (Nowhere!)

Do you have a budget? What do you like or dislike about it?