5 Reasons You Want to Budget!
July 5, 2016
I was breakfasting with a friend the other day and we got on the subject of budgeting. It came up totally naturally. The conversation went something like this:
Friend: “How’s your omelet?”
Me: “I love budgeting so much and so should you!”
See? The things you love can come up totally naturally in every day conversation:) I am mostly exaggerating since my love of budgeting and this blog did come up naturally in conversation. But seriously, it is one of my favorite things to talk about:) Okay.
So, Friend and I were talking about budgeting and she kind of rolled her eyes and said that her husband would love it if she would budget. And that it would help them achieve some of their long-terms goals. And waste less on eating out.
But she doesn’t want to because ‘budgeting’ to her means things like deprivation, boring, restriction, poverty. She had lots of lean years and now that she makes good money she wants to enjoy spending it. Totally get that!
Deprivation especially over an extended period of time and around people that aren’t deprived (at least on the surface) is tough and takes a toll. And the last thing you want to do when you get more/make more money is voluntarily “do poor”. I am not a proponent of living frugally and pinching pennies just for fun because it ain’t fun.
So when I talk about budgeting I am actually not talking about a ton of cutbacks to start. That sets spenders like us up for failure. And that failure proves what we’ve believed all along and that’s that we’re terrible with money.
I encourage that people just start planning for what they’re already spending and build from there. More on that in this post. For the moment…in case you’re one of the many who feel, hm...disinclined...to budget, I just wanted to share some Top Reasons Why You Will Love It. These aren’t my OFFICIAL Top 5, just some top reasons that I’ve experience and which might motivate you:)
I suspect you'll love the huge sense of surprise and empowerment when you live your budget. Gone is the guilty feeling of “dang…probably shouldn’t have bought that”. It’s replaced with a “oh yeah baby. I just bought that [new workout outfit, shirt, pair of shoes, airline ticket] and I’m still on track with my financial goals!”
Words can’t really express how nice it is to give yourself permission to spend some fun money and then spend it GUILT-FREE. It is paradoxical or counterintuitive or whatever that in the past 14 months I have lived more comfortably, done more fun things and bought new things and put lots of dollars toward debt. You can have this too when you just tell your money in advance where it needs to go!
There's this contented feeling of emotional liberation when all money things are out in the open. No more hiding, even or especially from yourself. No more hiding receipts, transactions, debt numbers, etc. from your significant other, family members, or dating prospects.
I'm talking confidence that extends to practically all areas of life, a by-product of exercising some self-discipline and having (a lot more) control over an area of life. You will carry your head higher even when nothing has changed about your financial circumstances yet.
You are actually making progress toward your why’s: early retirement? Scuba trip? Disneyland with the family? Downpayment on your dream house? Progress feels good. It’s almost like it’s what we’re here to do:)
5) Life Audit
You get this better sense of what your life is made of or, to be grammatically correct, of what your life is made. When you spend money unwittingly you never really know if you’re trading your labor for things of substance and things that you really want.
If you spend money flippantly you might be shocked to find that you spend $200/month eating out just at lunch. That is $200 that could do some really fun things like take you on an overseas vacation.
I don’t know about you but I would rather look back over my life and have more memorable experiences than fast-food receipts. I am NOT bashing on fast-food or eating out. I like both and indulge in both.
You can do this budgeting thing! And if you don’t think you can email me and tell me why. I’m a good listener and I will maybe even tell you how my omelet was:-)