Personal Finance

What is a Budget?

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Disclaimer: I don’t like In-N-Out, it was a novelty visit while in California!

“I can’t, I’m on a budget.”

The truth is, budgets are not a restrictive, Ebenezer Scrooge way of living. They are a tool for freedom.

A budget should be a personalized reflection of your unique lifestyle and financial goals. It is a tool to help you live a life of freedom and comfort.

Budgets are similar to diets. Not in that they are restricting, but in that they can be incorporated into your life in a healthy, effective way or in a crash-and-burn way.

Some will apply them in a whirlwind of motivation, tell everyone about it, sign up for all the classes and e-books they can get their hands on, and become burnt out within a few weeks and reverse any progress made.

Just like living a truly healthy lifestyle is based on a consistently healthy diet, having a healthy financial life is built upon a steady application of your budget. Both depend solely on your mindset and some preparation.

I hear people say, “I make too little to even make a budget” and I also hear, “I have plenty to pay my bills and have fun, so I don’t need a budget”. Yet both low-income and high-income people find themselves drowning when it comes to finances.

Budgets are for Everyone. It does not matter how much money you make if you do not know how to manage it.

If you continue to live as a victim of your financial situation, then you always will be. If you are not making enough money, your budget can help guide you in where you could spend less and push you to find ways to make more.

If you already have a budget, revisit it. Budgets need to be shaped and re-shaped to fit you.

What Budgets Are:

  • A way to take control of your financial life
  • A system to help you realign your attitudes toward your income and spending
  • A system to help you align your spending with your values and goals
  • A chance to dig deep and assess all of your spending habits
  • A way to gain a better understanding of how money works

What Budgets Are Not:

  • Punishment
  • A dusty, outdated system
  • A get-rich-quick promise

 

Designing and implementing a brutally honest, yet realistic, budget is one of the first and best ways that you can start to knock out your debt and pursue your true passions and start saying,

“I Can because of my budget.”

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