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Budgeting, as a concept, is very simple. You manage inputs and outputs, hopefully keeping the latter higher than the former.
If you’re anything like me, you learned the basics of budgeting when you were 10 years old by playing Age of Empires II. You had to manage the production of resources – wood, food, gold, and stone – in order to build new facilities, research technologies, and advance through the ages.
Eventually, you just typed in the cheat code for the red sports car with laser cannons and tore the Celts a new one. But, and it pains me to say this, there are no laser-shooting sports car cheats in real life.
In this life, budgeting is even more important. The lack of cheat codes and the general importance of having enough money to eat mean you need to have a little bit of budgeting competence. If you want to actually graduate from college and end up debt-free, well, you’ll need to know a bit more.