Why a monthly budget meeting isn’t necessary for minimalists

The only time I ever fell asleep at work was during a meeting. It was many years ago when I was asked to come in a few hours early for a review on an upcoming project my department would be working on. In fairness to me, the lights were off and a boring video was played by an even more boring woman wearing the plainest blouse you can imagine. You could have dropped a bucket of snakes on me and I would have slept through it. Staying awake was a mission impossible.

Meetings aren’t very fun. The gathering of ideas and thoughts usually lasts longer than needed. Someone always has some sort of technical malfunction. Someone else always arrives late. Then there’s that one person who just has no idea what’s going on. Imagine me raising my hand.

Many financially literate and practical families will have a monthly budget meeting to go over what’s next. It’s a wise thing to add onto your calendar.

Jenny and I do things a little bit different from others; not that we’re weird or anything. We don’t put our left shoes on before our right. We don’t hang our toilet paper in a way where you have to reach underneath to grab a square. In the case of those things, we do them sanely.

As far as budgeting goes, we don’t really put much thought into it. That’s because we try to live as minimally as possible.

And when living minimally, you can skip the budget meeting altogether. Your lifestyle is already on a budget anyway. Why wake up anyone early and drag them into work for a boring budget meeting?

Even a meeting about mud couldn’t keep a pig awake.

How necessary is a monthly budget meeting when you’re a minimalist?

Having a monthly budget meeting might work for some couples, families, and partners. The busier life gets, the more you may need to set a schedule to actually gather together and review what you can or cannot afford for the coming month. Money affects everyone under the roof.

Jenny and I talk about our finances often. It’s not a topic we try to ignore. We attack it like a scab, picking it apart and waiting for it to regrow so we can pick some more!

Our approach with money is to make it simple. We avoid buying frivolous things as much as possible. In doing this, we view our finances a little more backward than some do. It does take some discipline. After a few months, it can get easy.

As backwards as some of our habits are, we do not sit in a chair like this.

An almost monthly budget meeting but not quite

The closest event we have to a monthly budget meeting is a conversation after all of the bills are paid and our previous month’s spending is calculated. This is tracked in two places. One is through an app where everything we spend or earn is tracked. The other is on a spreadsheet with the lone purpose of calculating totals of what’s left in our different accounts and investments.

The app is where we calculated how much in the black or red we are from the previous month. From there, we decide how much we can allocate to the different places we move money each month.

It’s simple, ergo, it gets done. 

It’s not a moment to dread. There’s usually already a picture of what we did earn and spend from the previous month. Shock of realizing we saved half as much as the previous month’s earnings rarely happens because of how regularly aware we are of what’s going in or out.

A budget meeting could work for us to get better. Quite honestly, I think it would have the reverse effect and actually make me want to spend!

I never feel like we actually need to have a monthly sit down to dive into what we will spend for the simple fact that we live simply. Needs and the occasional wants are never out of our budget.

Do not assume because your wife buys pants that are the same color as her shirt you are saving any money.

The lack of desire to spend money makes a budget meeting unnecessary

There are a lot of things we may ask ourselves or each other before a major purchase is made. Even something as small as shaving cream is discussed but only in passing. Jenny knows if I don’t get my shaving cream she’ll be sleeping next to a thorn bush.

Only in rare instances have we had to shoot each other down from making a transaction. It’s usually because we either feel we don’t actually need the item or there is an alternative plan to avoid having to spend. I’m usually the one who says “no” because I’m the more frugal between the two of us. Frugal, of course, being the nice way to say rudely cheap.

Jenny enjoys minimalism for the same reasons I do with the added bonus of how it looks. I would rank the financial freedom as my top reason to practice this lifestyle.

Minimalism has been on our minds more than ever since buying a home. Having an unexpected $1,500 bill pop up one morning when you’re taking a cold shower will do this to you. 

This raises an important question for us both. Would we rather have the hot water or would we prefer to have more knicknacks, nights out, and the latest phone?

Being intentional with your money in every decision you make with it makes a budget meeting unnecessary. It’s a thought process more than anything. With some practice, you can wire yourself the same way.

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