Do you feel like you are limiting your spending and waiting for a certain point in life when you will finally have ‘enough’ to be able to treat yourself to that Louis Vuitton purse, that fancy watch, or whatever it is that tickles your fancy? Or worse, are you totally oblivious to your finances and do you treat your debit card like a gift card and buy whatever you want even if you can’t afford it… (”I’m not sure how much is left on this, but give it a try…”) !?!?! What if I told you that all of this can be solved with a simple financial tool that you are already familiar with? You don’t have to feel jealous of others, you don’t have to deprive yourself of special items you want. Assuming you are debt-free, it’s not hard to build the life you want.
This key tool that can help you immensely and you already know about it? It’s budgeting. Ok – was that an eyeroll I just saw? Hear me out! I challenge you to put some effort into rewiring your current conceptions and ideas about budgeting. Phrases like ‘on a budget’ or ‘budget-friendly’ seem to automatically implicate negativity, but I want to look at it in a different way. Budgeting is a truly beneficial tool – at all levels of income. There is a misconception that if you make ‘enough’ money, you don’t need to stick to a budget because you’re too busy rolling in all your dough to worry about where its going. You have so much money that you can buy whatever you want without a thought. I would argue that being a high income individual or family means its even MORE important for you to have a budget. You’re working hard to earn your money, shouldn’t you be mindful and intentional about how it is spent?
Instead of thinking of a budget as limiting, think of it as facilitating your dream life. It doesn’t have to mean you’re saving up for something, it means you are intentionally allotting your income to the things that are important to you. For instance, if you are a total foodie and you love trying out all the restaurants in your city, perhaps you designate $600 a month to dining out. By creating a budget, you can make sure all your bills, savings, and other necessary expenses are covered, and then put your fun money towards dining out. You have completely eliminated any guilt about spending that much dining out, because you know you can afford it and have planned accordingly. Some people might find that completely frivolous, but the point I’m making is that having a budget is about creating the life YOU want. You don’t have to wait until you have ‘enough’ to splurge on trying out new restaurants, you simply get to enjoy and feel satisfied knowing that you aren’t going to struggle later paying your credit card bill. Find what lights you up and build your budget around it!
Similarly, lets say you have always wanted a Louis Vuitton purse but feel like you are waiting for ‘one day’ when you can afford it. Lets stop that right now – don’t wait to start living your life how you want. Look at your monthly spending habits. Perhaps you go out shopping a few times a month at Homesense, maybe you shop online a bit, nothing crazy just $60 here, $80 there, $100 here, and so on and so fourth. If you add up all the small shopping purchases you make in a month, they might total $500. And you weren’t even buying what you truly wanted. I’m talking about intentional spending here. Money equals potential, and if you don’t tell it where to go, it will get spent and you will be left wondering where it went. This person thinks they are being reasonable and depriving themselves by making multiple, small purchases at homesense in a month rather than splurging on high end items. In reality, they could easy afford their dream bag in as little as 2.5 months by holding off on these small shopping purchases and building up a few months of their spending budget. No guilt, no going into debt. Simply by having a budget and sticking to intentional spending, this person could treat themselves to something special they have told themselves for years they could not have. Budgeting can be the facilitator for your dream life, if you let it!
By using intentional spending, you can focus on what is most important to you, stop making purchases that aren’t in alignment and you will have more room (and money!) to focus on the things or experiences that ARE important to you. Your budget is working for you, you are not working for your budget. You can have the life you want – its up to you to build it into your budget 😊