Money Management You Actually Want to Do

November 7, 2022

What comes to mind when I say the word "budgeting"?

Do you associate it with limiting words such as: strict, depressing, inflexible, boring, and responsible? You're not alone if you do!

It's ironic that "responsible" is on that list of negatives, as if it too is an unwelcome thing.

But, let's reframe for a minute. One definition of "responsible" includes "able to choose for oneself."

And aren't you glad for being able to choose? I am. Well, unless I’m at The Cheesecake Factory trying to decide on dinner. I do better at restaurants like In-N-Out Burger where my choices include: one patty or two, cheese or no cheese, and onions—grilled or fresh. Oh, and, what kind of shake. (Chocolate, usually).

Anyway, back to that list of negative words that people associate with budgeting. One other that comes up a lot is "deprivation."

When you think that on a budget you can’t get your hair done, take trips, buy clothes, or eat out ever, it is no wonder you don't want to do it.

So, where do we start thinking that a budget equals deprivation?

Marketers certainly have something to do with it. These messages include subtle insinuations that “if you want to be happy, you’ll do and buy such and such.” So you buy things without pausing to question if you even want to afford them.  

In the full-contact sport that is life, we also hear messages about money from our families and friends. About what things are worth spending money on and what things are not. And we start incorporating these into our rules for being with money.

However it happens, we each pick up rules and standards for what a "budget" means, what it allows and doesn't. But don't you think now is a good time to consider that it could be different?

When I say "budget," I am simply referring to the proactive planning of your spending. It's done happiest when pared with forecasting your money, organizing your existing money in a zero-based budgeting tool, and after you've made peace with all of your spending.

The best news ever.

And in this context, budgeting is absolutely not the end of life as you know it. Or actually, maybe it is and that's the best news ever.

  • Budgeting is the end of always stressing about money.
  • It's the end of needing payday to come around sooner.
  • It's the end of guilty feelings when you buy “fun” stuff, getting surprised by things like Christmas and car repair.
  • And it's the end of wondering when you’re going to be able to afford chasing some of your big dreams.

Budgeting for real and getting on purpose with your money marks the start of a life of:

  • Confidence with your life decisions involving money
  • Freedom and options
  • Dreaming bigger
  • Giving more generously
  • Guilt-free spending on things you enjoy
  • Peace.

I don’t like making assumptions for other people but I’m going out on a limb here. I'll guess that you, like me, are more interested in this package of benefits.

The pep talk.

It is true that if you earn less than you currently spend, and put the difference on credit cards, you will need to cut back to avoid debt accumulation.

Said debt accumulation sabotages your future options and causes immense stress. I remember the results of debt well, and am much happier on this side of proactive monthly money management!

If you're willing to acknowledge it and do something about your overspending, good for you. Good for the Now You now, good for Future You, and good for the dream life you'd like to be able to afford.

The same clapping and cheering is true for those who make as much or even more than they spend but don’t have a lot to show for it.

But regardless of your present circumstances, when you get on purpose with your money you will find that you have more of it and can afford more of what you enjoy—guilt-free. Happily managed money simply goes further than unplanned money.

Life with a budget can be 100% different, and happier, than life without one.

You can pay good money for quality items that will last. You can eat well, go out to eat, travel with friends and family, give gifts, all while meeting the necessities of life. And creating more options for yourself in the future.

And who doesn't want this?

If you haven't yet downloaded this cheat sheet of 7 strategies and 7 categories, you'll want to get it, like now. It contains 7 key strategies + 7 neglected categories that will change monthly money management for you. And give you an approach and results you will absolutely love.

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