What is your reaction to the word “budget”? A sinking, depressed, deprived feeling? You are not alone. Many people audibly groan at the mention of the word. For the vast majority, it connotes scarcity, lack, and limitation—none of which are very pleasurable concepts. “Budgeting” in common usage usually means cutting the fun, frivolity, entertainment, and spontaneity out of your life and creating a bare-bones, austere, nothing-but-the-basics spending plan—something you do when you’re stressed about not having enough money.
That is not my idea of budgeting. I have reframed it above: It means designing a spending plan to achieve your number one priorities and get all those things you really want. A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went! This can and should be a very enjoyable process and not the bitter, restrictive pill you fear.
It is important to know that a budget is not written in stone. It is a flexible, adjustable plan that reflects how you give valuable products or services to others (income) and how you choose to support others by buying their products or services (expenses). All of these are decisions you make, therefore you have the power to change them. We often feel so trapped by our previous decisions that we think that we’re stuck, but a closer examination will reveal that we can change everything if we are willing.
The power of budgeting is that we decide before each month how we will spend our income, then as the month goes on, we write down our actual income and expenses. When we tally up the score at the end of the month, we can see whether or not we want to change our decisions for next month. Design a plan that works for you and then work your plan!
Today’s Affirmation: “I happily spend the money I make in all the wisest ways!”