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Budget = Freedom

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My budget gives me freedom that I’ve not had in a really long time. I know this sounds pretty crazy coming from me.

But I have all outgoing expenses planned all the way through May of 2022 right now. I also have my regular income and even a savings planned for the same time period. (And I’ve planned this way for years now.)

It may not be the traditional budget, but it works for me.

How does a budget give freedom

I do not have to think for even a minute on how I will spend my money. My money plan for every month spells out where my money is going and when. All my “free” money or what people often call an allowance is kept in cash. When it’s gone, it’s gone.

This way of planning and managing my money has set me free is ways I have never experienced before.

And it’s really been enhanced by having regular income, compared to my variable income that wreaked havoc on this type of plan. Before returning to the corporate world, I was constantly having to adjust when and how much based on payment dates, partial payments and delayed payments from customers.

But now what

So I’ve had this ‘budget’ if you may for years. But I am still terrible with money. I’m ignorant of making it work for me. As good as I think I am doing and wise my decisions are becoming, some of the BAD commenters really show me how bad my relationship with money really is. As much as I might be making plenty of money now, I am still making decisions like a ‘poor person’ (I think there’s a better term but I just couldn’t think of it.)

This past week I began a money class taught by a money expert. And while it will cover all the “education points” I need, I think. The reason I chose this one was because it is promoted as dealing with the psychology of money. Today is the second class.

I thought I might share of my insights here…

Week 1 of my money course

Last week they talked about the need for a budget. Old news to me. But there were a few points that really stood out to me.

  1. Make your budget in a shame free/judgement free environment. It’s for you, you don’t have to share it if you don’t want too. Your reality is your reality and your priorities are your priorities. Yes, I know a “getting out of debt budget” is a bit different vs a how we live budget. But I think a lot of us have shame and feel judged about how we spend our money, even when we aren’t telling the world about our bad decisions on a blog.
  2. They recommended making two budgets…and I love this! I’m going to do this this weekend. The budgets they recommend are:
    1. A right now budget – how are you spending your money today
    2. A future budget – what does the perfect budget look like for you, your dream lifestyle
  3. Consider if you plan to expand or decrease your spending or maybe your income.

They shared a Google spreadsheet with a budget sheet that had two columns – monthly expenses and yearly expenses and a bunch of suggested categories. What was cool about it was that it calculated the yearly income you need to cover your budget.

Expand or Contract

The last part of the call, they talked about expanding or contracting your budgeted spending. The leaders expected the audience to all plan to expand or stay the same. I was one of the few to be adamant about contracting. (The attendees are primarily business owners looking to grow their business and manage their money better, so I get it.) On the other hand, I am looking to minimize as much as possible my monthly and yearly outlays.


3 Comments

  • Reply Marzy-d |

    Kudos to you Hope on taking a money class!

    I think in addition to the idea that the budget should be “shame-free” is that your priorities might not be everyone’s priorities. Some people prioritize travel. Some people prioritize a lovely house. Some people prioritize the freedom from worry of being debt-free. All of those priorities are OK, and no one should be shamed for having one or the other. Or for changing them as our lives change. But we do need to be HONEST with ourselves about what our own priorities are, and whether our actions are moving us towards or away from our goals. And, if our actions consistently move us away from our goals, we need to reassess whether those goals are truly our priority, or if we just think the *ought* to be.

    • Reply Hope |

      yes yes yes…

      I am definitely guilty of the “ought to” issue. I feel like I’m just now “owning” my decisions as my own versus what I ought to do based on other people’s perspectives.

      And I also think that the “changing” thing is why the way I budget works so well for me as my life is definitely always full of change. Praying that I am now entering a season of stability, but am most accustomed to the the “change” concept.

  • Reply Emily N. |

    Budgets ARE great! Perhaps you could share yours soon. It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen a budget from you…

So, what do you think ?