Earlier this week I shared my Net Worth Tracking sheet with all of you. It’s definitely my favorite spreadsheet, and the one I most look forward to updating every month.

In fact, recently I’ve felt like I don’t even want to budget at all.

I log into my accounts, grab the totals, throw them all in the budget and cry tears of either joy or sorrow, depending on the results. Once I’ve updated the net worth, I really don’t feel like going back and categorizing every single transaction in my budget.

I’ve already looked at all my accounts and compared them to last month. Shouldn’t that be enough?

I wish.

I Need to Review Transactions Every Month

I would love to just update my net worth every month and move on with my life. The problem is, my Net Worth Tracking isn’t going to tell me when I have financial issues that need to be addressed.

budget and net worth

photo credit: flickr.com/arts/

When updating my budget last month, I found two errors in my accounts. In one case, a credit card changed their address so my automatic payment was sent to the wrong place. In another, one of my student loans was messed up and I had a horrible customer service experience.

I’m not sure if either of these issues would have been caught with a simple net worth update. Doing a detailed review of all my transactions is the best way to catch these errors, and I can’t miss out on that opportunity.

In addition, if you don’t track your spending in a budget, then you don’t know what to do if you need to make changes. Maybe your net worth tracking is showing you are losing net worth every month. Without a budget, you won’t know exactly where your money is going, and can’t identify opportunities for savings.

I’m sticking with the budget. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it.

How Do You Manage Your Finances?

So we know I’m a detail freak and have a compulsive need to review every transaction in my budget. That doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the right thing for you. Personal finance is personal, so I want to know what my readers do. If you’d like, take a few seconds to let me know what you do. If you want to expand on your method of madness, leave a comment below.

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Friday Links

How to Bootstrap a Business – Want to start a business on an extremely tight budget? Paula can teach you how. Just remember; most things worth doing aren’t easy.

The 10 Best Things I Ever Bought – Len might be the best writer I’ve ever encountered in the personal finance world, so if you haven’t seen his site you need to check it out. He lists his ten best purchases. My ten best purchases would have to be 10 different occasions of buying St. Louis Style Pizza. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

How to Become a Billionaire Fast – Mark at Buy Like Buffett tells the world a really easy way to become a billionaire. This will probably be one of the most surprising articles you’ve ever read.

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