Many people look at tracking your spending as a chore. It can feel restricting, telling yourself that you can't do something or buy something you want with the money you earned. However, this can be just another lie that we tell ourselves especially in regard to our money.
As we live out our lives, if we aren't intentionally tracking our spending against certain goals, we are really just lying to ourselves. Consider how we forget most of the things we spend money on in a month as it progresses. Could you remember what you had for breakfast last week let alone how much and how many times you got coffee at Dutch Bros.? What about your last trip to the grocery store? Do you remember how much that was if it was more than a few days ago (and you don't have the receipt nearby)?
Forgetting all of these expenditures can give us a false sense of security. We can easily start lying to ourselves about our financial situation. "Sure, I can go out to lunch with you! I've got the money. I can't remember when I last went out to lunch." Even though you may have gone out just two weeks ago.
Building and sticking to a budget helps you keep the truth in front of you. Reality doesn't lie. When you document your spending decisions in a way you can easily reference, without having to remember it all the time, the truth of your situation stares back at you. It can feel quite uncomfortable, but it helps you make wiser decisions. How much easier would it be to say "no" to coffee again if you knew that was $5 less you would have to pay down one of your credit cards and be done with it sooner?
Going into this week, I challenge you to track your expenses, all of them. Bring them out of your head and into reality. Stop renewing your license to lie to yourself over and over again. Look at the truth in front of you. You may be surprised how it sets you free.