You’ve heard the word time and time again as it said to be the foundational tool of managing your finances. Even though this word is popular, it is not a fan favorite amongst millennials.
And yes, I am referring to the term: budget.
When I hear budget, I feel a sense of restriction, limitation, and powerlessness when it comes to creating opportunities for my money. Creating a plan for my hard earned money should be fun, not frowned upon.
That’s why I prefer the phrase, spending plan.
A spending plan allows me to set the tone for my money, as opposed to the plan setting one. When I create a spending plan, I become the architect for my monthly payments because I get to assess what bills to eliminate without it causing me to believe I have to be stuck with them.
With that being said, I want to offer you 3 ways to reimagine budgeting:
1. Understand that budgets are tools, but you are the architect.
When it comes to creating a plan for your money’s destination, you have to understand that you are in full control. You are the pilot, not the plan. You have the power to dictate the way your budget makes you feel and not the other way around.
One of the most popular quotes you’ll see often on social media states that “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” Even though that quote sounds amazing, it is not entirely true. You are the one who tells your money where to go because you are the orchestrator of that plan. You shouldn’t allow the process of creating a budget or even the word in itself frighten you.
2. Budgets shouldn’t bully you, they should balance you.
As previously stated, you shouldn’t be afraid of the plan you have power over. The reason many of you avoid creating a spending plan is because you see it being connected to your bills and not your goals. Therefore, it’s not the plan you scared of facing but the bills. Once you recognize your power to eliminate bills, you’ll reimagine the plan as a gateway to freedom.
Are you someone who says that they are on a budget when your friends invite you out? If that is you, I want you to take a moment to reflect on that statement.
I am on a budget.
Doesn’t that sound more like a forced diet or decision? It’s like your budget took a bullhorn, yelled at you and told you for the next 30 days you cannot do this or that. Now, don’t get me wrong discipline is important, but so is balance. If every moment of your time is spent on focusing who you have to pay and the list doesn’t’ include you, you will not have peace of mind. I am a strong advocate of creating a plan that puts you first, pays you first, and provides balance in your life.
3. Recognize your options and opportunities
When you create a spending plan, you should not feel as though you are stuck with your expenses. The unnecessary bills that you are subscribed to doesn’t have to move with you on your financial journey, especially if it does not contribute to the goals you have in place. Your plan will not only show you which bills you can eliminate, but also offer you a manifestation of ways you can invest in yourself and make more money.
You don’t necessarily have to remove budget from your vocabulary, but you should strongly consider changing your language when it comes it. Think about it: When you say you are sticking to your budget; you are restricting yourself from the possibility of adjusting it in the form of removing what does not fit in your long term plan and/or adding those things that will help you reach your goals faster.