I'm Good, You're Not

Definition of budget - ˈbʌdʒɪt - noun - an estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time.

"I'm just good at this sort of thing"

"It's evolved. I have been doing it for years"

"I'm really on top of it"

"I put a lot of time and effort in"

"I developed my own system"

"I use an app, a spreadsheet, ancient Japanese mysticism....."

Smug? Not what you want to hear? Exactly the opposite of how you roll?

How do you respond?

"Well done"

"You should get out more"

"I'm pleased for you son, I got 99 problems and the money ain't one"

But what if you're hearing it from a friend, a sibling, a flat mate, a partner??

Perhaps you're less likely to be dismissive. Perhaps there's a bit of you that would like to learn to be better at the budgeting thing.

Regardless of the bravado of your response, the important thing is to recognise and accept that we all have different skills. If your friend, flatmate, family member, partner is too often boastful about this or some such other skill, things can get boring and you need to use your skills to avoid giving them the opportunity to boast.

There will be times with flatmates or partners where such skills are really useful. After all you have some skin in the game. If your flatmate or partner is an accomplished budgeter run with it. Let them research the most economical utility providers, the best way to monitor house expenses and the optimal way for the financial load to be shared. Even if you hate that stuff or find it overwhelming, offer to help with one small aspect of the budget. Your contribution, however small, will lead to the main budgeter feeling that you are pulling some weight and showing interest. Furthermore, you will feel good about your contribution and will be picking up some budgeting skills at the same time.

For many young people, the first time they leave home it's to go to university. Often year one is spent in halls of residence and years 2 and 3 are spent in shared rental accommodation. The friends that you choose to live with are decided by shared interests and often by being randomly thrown together in halls of residence in year 1. Who knows if any of you have any real life budgeting skills. I'm guessing you soon find out.

However much fun you have with your the people that you live with, there is an unwritten understanding that you have joint commitments. If you are the life and soul of the party house in which you live, that in itself is a valuable contribution to your tethered lifestyle and one that I'm certain is appreciated by those around you. But if you don't do some chores around the place, others will lose patience in the end. Just choose the chores that you're good at.

If you love cooking why not help set the weekly grocery budget or decide how the bulk of the budget is spent. If you're the music lover decide whether Spotify, Tidal or Apple music gets your vote. If you are quite the interior designer you choose the pimp up your pad budget and decide which thrift stores are likely to receive your custom. If the thought of your next trip gets you up in the morning, take the lead role in researching the cost and destination.

If you run a business you choose those around you based on personality and moreover a prescribed skill set. Interviewees should see a job description. However, we end up living with and often falling in love with people based solely on personality, knowing very little about their skills. So if you find yourself living with someone in the 'I'm good, you're not' budgeting world then two things are important. Firstly, your flatmate or partner has skills that compensate in other areas (think broadly!) AND secondly that some continuing effort is made to contribute, however small.

'I'm good, you're not' needs to be heading towards 'I'm good, you're getting better'.