You've given the budget a try, not once, not twice, but multiple times and each time you thought you failed at it. You collected lots of reasons why it's not your thing. You never kept up with it; you saw red all over the place; your partner did not cooperate and bought that lawnmower despite you telling him it would not fit the budget. Or, the car broke down all of a sudden, and you had to dip into your savings once again. Let's not forget the vacation you thought your family deserved, and you were so ready for. What's the point of having a budget? Budgets don't work! They are a constant reminder that you may not be earning enough money or spending more than you should. In other words, you are doing it all wrong!
No wonder the budget has such a bad reputation. It would only make sense not to want to have a budget when it becomes another reminder that we are not enough.
In my previous post, I told you why you need a budget and all the beautiful things that a budget provides for me and can also provide for you. But the truth is that to get to the point where you love your budget, and you can't live without it, you may need to do a little bit of thought work.
I like looking at my budget as if it was a person with whom you have a relationship with. What determines the relationship you have with this person is the thoughts that you have about him.
The thoughts you might have had about your budget either led to separation or even divorce. You are not interested in getting back together. You find so much relief in not having this person in front of you, triggering all these horrible thoughts that make you feel nauseous. You moved on, and you are now married to this new person you love and have lovely thoughts about.
The problem with this is that although you may find different budget software and spreadsheets out there, a budget is just a spending plan based on money coming in and money going out. If you divorce the budget, you are divorcing your plan. Without a plan, you'll get lost; you won't reach your goals and guess what... you'll think you are doing it all wrong!
So we feel awful with a budget and without a budget. What is the answer then? I want to offer you that a relationship with your budget is worth saving and getting back to! So what I propose is that you change your thoughts about budgets once and for all.
But before you change your thoughts about it, you want to understand your current beliefs about your budget now and practice unconditional love. And here is your bonus for working on this: practicing unconditional love for your budget will be great practice for feeling unconditional love for your partner or husband and yourself! Truly! It's the same skill that will apply to all your relationships.
When we feel dislike towards our budget, we are choosing to dislike. We think we feel this way because the budget is not working, is restrictive, hard to follow, etc. But all these sentences are our thoughts about the budget, and they are causing us to feel negative emotions. We chose these sentences.
In the same way, you can also decide to feel love for your budget even when there was not enough money to buy the lawnmower, and you spent that money anyways, or you had to dip into savings to repair your car.
None of that is a problem until you think it is. So thinking negatively about these circumstances will only cause you to feel frustrated and dislike your budget. Thinking the budget should "behave" differently will only cause you pain. You always get to choose how to feel in any of those situations and thinking that the budget is the villain and didn't work the way it's supposed to will only lead to you neglecting the budget, overspending in other categories, or quitting altogether. These results will ultimately prove your original thought that budgets don't work! But guess what? You chose that thought in the first place.
Choose love instead. Love it when you can save money and when you overspend. Love it when it's green or red. It doesn't mean you have to approve of it. It doesn't mean you don't take any action, but it means that, when you do so, it will be from a place of love and acceptance.
You can think that your budget is there to help you achieve your financial dreams, and you can love it even when things don't go as expected.
As you learn to think and feel this way about your budget, you get to feel better about your finances overall and see more positive results. You won't give up and will start to gather more and more evidence that budgets do work in the end, you are doing it right, and YOU ARE ENOUGH!
Are you having relationship issues with your budget? Have you not even started the dating process? I can help you with that! Click here to schedule a free mini session, and I can help you get started.