You’ve no doubt seen the “Capital One” ads asking, “What’s in your wallet?” My answer? Who cares? The better question is what’s in your budget? If you’re always checking your wallet (or bank account) to see if you have money, then spending if you do, NO WONDER YOU’RE BROKE!
What jobs have you given your money? If you don’t know what I’m talking about – it’s time to create a budget! And if you think I’m talking about a budget that will restrict or punish you for having fun, keep reading!
A good budget is one created by you, for you, to get what you want out of life. It reflects your goals, dreams, wants and, of course, needs. Your budget keeps you on track, answers your financial questions and helps get rid of financial stress!
The best budgets start with daydreaming. What does your perfect life look like? How do you want to spend your time? What do you enjoy doing? What does your perfect future look like? Write it down! Be creative and have fun with it! Don’t get bogged down with how impossible they may seem; you haven’t even tried yet! This is a wish-list!
Now, think about how badly you want these things. Some will be passing fancies, but you’ll find some you’re willing to work for! Those are your goals! Take those goals and put them in order of importance. What’s first on your list? Build your budget around this goal – and do the math to figure out when you’ll hit it! Keep your list of goals, so once you hit the first one, you can tweak your budget and move on to goal number two.
By the way, focusing on one goal doesn’t mean you can’t do anything else – it just means that’s where you’re most focused! Your budget can include anything you want – you’re in control! Just be intentional. Instead of looking back at the end of the month, wondering where your money went, you’ll be able to look back and remember all the things you did with your money, because you chose to! And, during the month, you can refer to your budget anytime to see if you have money for different things. Categorizing your money helps ensure you don’t use your grocery fund for a night out, or gas money for a new blouse. BUT you can put money into all four categories, if that’s what you choose.
Your budget puts YOU in charge of your money! Give every dollar a job, and make your money work for you!