Budget. There I said it. If we had a “report inappropriate content button,” would you use it? Do you hate the word “budget” or do you just hate the idea of living by one?
Why do people hate budgets?
If you think of a budget as financial shackles or the proverbial ball and chain, think again! A budget is one of the essential tools of personal economic growth. Unfortunately, the term “budget” has so many bad connotations because people don’t understand and aren’t willing to face the emotions that come with budgets. I’m here to tell you I have a budget, I use a budget, and budgets are good things!If you are the one who makes up your budget, you can allocate your money wherever you want. It’s all about funding your life. And by life, I am not talking about you getting up and going to work, getting through the day, and then grabbing take out on the way home. I’m talking about you deciding who and where you want to be and making sure your spending lines up with those goals.
Control, Freedom and Peace
Your personal budget is your plan for how to use your money. It helps you make sure you reach your goals instead of frittering away your hard earned cash on things and experiences that don’t take you closer to your goals. A budget is a huge part of being financially responsible and it allows you to TAKE CONTROL.
Ironically, you will actually find freedom in using a budget. The freedom comes from the fact that in following your budget, you are actually working towards your goals instead of just hoping you’ll achieve them.
In using a budget you will find peace. The peace comes from knowing everything is taken care of. Depending on your situation, this peace may take a little bit of work to find, but setting forth a budget is the first step on the road to taking responsibility and controlling your financial future. The Peace will come.
The problem comes in then if you don’t know your goals or where you want to be. If you’re not confident and passionate about your goals, then you start listening to the “shoulds,” The “shoulds” are what other people tell you you ought to do with your money.
“You should have a college account for each of your children.”
“You should be saving 10% of your income.”
“You shouldn’t have spent that much on your house.”
I hate the word “should” and I’ve just about removed it from my vocabulary. You could do the same. (Doesn’t that sound better than “You should do the same”?) Your budget is not about what other people, even experts tell you “should” do with your money. Your budget is about how you want to use your money for your life. Of course, once you learn more about financial planning and decide where you want your life to go, you may take a lot of the expert advice, but it won’t be because you think you “should,” it will be because you’ve decided it’s the right thing for you.
Take Action Today
Today, start to come to terms with the idea that a budget is an essential tool for creating wealth and directing your life. Your budget, if you stick to it, can take you where you want to go. Think about where you’re going to start spending your money. Think about how you are going to start funding your LIFE.Tomorrow, we’ll look at the steps involved in putting it all on paper.*Be sure to check out the other great posts at the Carnival of Personal Finance!Subscribe to the Butler Project's RSS Feed and get fresh content as soon as it's posted.