“How often do you look at your budget?”
It was at a presentation on budgeting that I recently attended. The expert went through charts, numbers and diagrams when someone asked him how often he is reviewing his budget.
“Every day” was his surprising answer.
Personally, I think that’s too much. Every day? Is it really necessary?
The other extreme, however, is even worse. Imagine people who do not know what their budget is; they have no idea how much money they make, how much they spend, or even when the bills are due.
It is easy to imagine how these people will end up in financial ruin.
Perhaps the reason why many people do not like budgeting is that it may not be such a pleasant experience. It can lead to us discovering additional costs that we were not aware of or a possible sources of income that has not occurred.
Nevertheless, it’s the right thing. It gives us the much-needed clarity and helps us make better decisions in the future.
Looking at the Hebrew calendar, we are in the season of “spiritual budgeting.”
The month of Elul, the last month before the New Year, is traditionally dedicated to raising awareness of our current spiritual status.
During this month, we are asked to spend some time thinking about our relationship with G-d and with our fellows, to take stock of where things are and to commit to improving in the future.
But unlike any other budgeting, we should not be afraid to look at our own “spiritual books.”
Because G-d has given us a gift that no financial planner can ever give:
The gift of Teshuvah.
Even if things didn’t go as they should have, we can still change the past. If we decide to be better in the future, our misgivings from the past will turn into a catalyst that will propel us to greater heights.