Why Going to the Dentist is Like Creating Your First Budget

Brent Pittman —  01/15/2013
Pulling Teeth

Do you need budgeting help? Credit  Vox Efx

Do you dislike going to the dentists almost as much I do?

It is something I know I should do a couple times a year, yet it isn’t something I look forward to.

But in the end, I end up smiling in the mirror at my clean white teeth–thankful that I allowed myself to go through the experience.

Why going to the dentist is a bit like doing your first budget.

Fear- We fear the dentist and rightly so. Shots, drilling, pain, bad news, scolding…that is usually my experience of attending the dentists.

We also fear doing our first budget since it is unknown and we’re not sure what we’ll find under the hood.

For most, they find that after budget is completed, the fear is gone and you can get to the issues of dealing with the known problems.

Dental Cavities– Do you only go to the dentist when you’re teeth hurt? Um, yeah me neither. That pain is an indication of that something is wrong with your pearly whites.

The pain you experience financially–bounced checks, over draft charges, money fights with your spouse, etc…indicate deeper financial issues that can often be fixed with a plan to fix your financial cavities.

Help Prevent Financial Cavities

“You need to floss more” This is a common phrase at the end of every dental cleaning that I hear. I do it for a while, and often forget.

What is the financial equivalent of flossing? Budgeting. Every month create a realistic budget (with your spouse if you’re married) and stick to it.

These articles can help with flossing your financial teeth:

Seek a Professional- If you need serious financial oral surgery, then a professional can help.

Seek an advisor who is willing to teach, love, and push you towards financial health. If I can help, please contact me.

Schedule your next appointment- Don’t let years go by without a checkup from the dentists—trust me. The same goes for your finances.

  • Schedule a time each week to balance your checkbook.
  • Schedule a time each month to budget and talk about money.
  • Schedule a time each month to pay your bills.
  • Schedule a time each year to make yearly goals and meet your financial advisor.

I think we can do better with our finances by simply budgeting on a regular basis and flossing our financial teeth.

What do you need to do to prevent financial cavities? 

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Brent Pittman

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Brent is a financial coach and writer looking for the perfect donut. He believes personal finance should be both fun and accessible to anyone willing to learn.
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  • John@TheMoneyPrinciple

    Good parallel although with modern anasthetics dental work is not that bad – the cleaning is more painful I find! But I can’t really think of an anasthetic for budgeting! Maybe a stiff whisky?

  • Fighting cavities isn’t done with a few spurts of heroic action, it’s done with the regular consistent action of good dental hygiene. It’s the same with a budget. A budget is kept by the boring but regular action of daily spending decisions.
    Not exactly what you were getting at in the post, but another dental analogy I saw.

    • Very true! But to nerds budgeting is fun, not boring.

  • krantcents

    I agree, although I haven’t had a cavity since I was a kid! My budgeting just needs a checkup and a routine cleaning periodicallyl. It helps that it was my former career.

    • I am amazed at your experience and success. Were you a CIA agent too?