What happens internally when you get asked if you have a budget? Do your insides squirm or do you perhaps answer vaguely or avoid answering the question altogether? Perhaps you have a spreadsheet that you did 2 years ago where you worked out what your rough expenses are and feel that is all you need to do.
You may not like what I’m going to share with you but trust me – your future self will THANK me! A real life working budget is one that is monitored regularly. And I mean regularly – like every week or two!
I actually don’t like the phrase budget. I much prefer to create a Spending Plan, because, afterall, that’s what it is… a plan to empower you to achieve your financial goals through the way you spend. It’s a plan you put in place after you create a vision of your future, so you know what you can start working towards to bring them into your life.
I recommend you having a Money Day once a week or fortnight, monthly at worst. This is a regular ‘date’ you have with yourself that’s scheduled into your diary, just like a doctor’s or hair appointment that you know you will keep. On this ‘date’ you will get up close and personal with your money, reviewing what has transpired over the past week and course correct if need be based on your financial goals. It’s when you pay your bills, file receipts, record your spending, check bank statements, that sort of thing. You’ll also track how you are progressing towards your goal and celebrate how far you have come once you achieve some milestones.
Create a ritual and make it pleasurable! I always light a candle, have soft music playing and write on every bill as it comes in “Thank You for the money!”. I close my eyes and imagine the bills paid with gratitude. Once again, when I make the payment, I again say Thank You to the Universe, which is my “thing’ I show gratitude to, but it may be God, Source or whatever feels right for you. I am showing gratitude for the money BEFORE it arrives, and again once it does. What you appreciate, appreciates…
A Spending Plan is the start of a wealth creation strategy, where you decide how you want to use your money to its best advantage to help you achieve your financial goals.