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The Truth About Budgeting

In today’s world, there is a common aversion towards budgeting. Most people would rather have a root canal than dive into their numbers. Why is that? To most people a budget means deprivation. A budget means rules where we can’t color outside the lines. A budget means having no fun! That doesn’t have to be the truth. I’m all about fun. Fun is one of my core values! 

The truth is that the only rigid financial boundaries you have are put on by you! You are in control of this train, and you can choose how you spend your money. But let’s get down the nitty gritty…are you really choosing how you spend your money or are impulse buys and guilt from friends and family and that gym membership we are not using really controlling how your money is being spent?

Let’s tackle the pit in your stomach when it comes to budgeting. You are afraid you are going to do all of this work, put all this time in, feel all this guilt about what you’ve spent money on in the past…and still fail. Am I right? Traditional budgeting can trigger feelings of guilt or shame, not just when we are putting the budget together but also in execution. One little slip and we are so ashamed of ourselves. 

I’m always trying to eat healthier. This past week, I had been really good. My husband wanted to try a new Mexican place and I had my rules in place: 1 drink only and it was going to be a skinny margarita, only 5 chips with salsa, order protein and don’t eat the beans, rice and tortillas. What happened? That all went out the window as soon as the chips came to the table. I was mindlessly eating away and when I finally realized I had broken my rule, I gave myself permission to fail. I thought “I’ve gone this far, might as well go all the way.” It was delicious but it set me back a week on my goal. I felt ashamed. Why couldn’t I control myself? Sound familiar. 

Life is unpredictable and even when we have a plan in place (and I love a good plan) it’s impossible to adhere to predetermined spending all the time. Unexpected expenses come up. We all have those months where everything seems to come up and money feels like it’s flying out the window. We build a sense of frustration and failure and wonder why we even bother to try. We give up before we really even get started.

The real secret to a budget is flexibility. Without flexibility, we don’t learn and grow. Instead of beating myself up on the chips I gorged on, I should have focused on the positives I did. I did get a skinny margarita rather than the regular. I did leave a lot of the beans and rice on the plate. I ate until I was satisfied but not disgustingly full. These are all great things I did. How can I amplify them for the next time? How can I learn for the future? Because I’d love to think I’m only going to eat at home the rest of my life, but I know that isn’t reality. What improvements could I make for the next time?

Give yourself a break on your budget. Become clear and aware of what you are spending on and you can take back your budget the way you want. Want to get more ideas on how to do this. Download our on pager on Baby Stepping Your Way to Financial Independence to get some more ideas. 

You are in control of your Money. Finally feel good about budgeting and act like it!


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Investment advice offered through Integrated Financial Partners, doing business as One Vision Retirement, a registered investment advisor. The information in this material is for general information only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. Integrated Financial Partners does not provide legal/tax advice or services. Please consult a qualified legal/tax advisor regarding your specific situation.



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