I don’t know about you, but I never liked trying to keep a budget. It just feels restrictive, like being deprived- like a diet, right?
But maybe we need to reframe our thinking. Let’s replace the word “budget” with the words “spending plan.” Creating a “plan” is taking action with intention and “spending” is just where our dollars are going. If you think about it, spending with a plan gives us permission to have fun – without the guilt.
Of course, a spending plan needs to take care of the “have to’s” first – mortgage, utilities, car payment, gas and caring for our future selves (in the form of retirement funds). But after those are taken care of, we have a little freedom to spend on things like entertainment, shopping, and travel. You still get to do fun things, but you’re doing them with intention and without guilt because you know you have already taken care of your needs. You may also find that you are able to set aside money over time to use for a larger splurge, such as a special trip you want to take in the future.
Without a spending plan, that trip may not be possible. Budgeting and having fun don’t need to be mutually exclusive. Making a spending plan can help you work towards affording your dreams and goals. Rather than seeing budgeting as deprivation, it can be a strategy to make your money work for you – just as it should.