I don’t know about you, but I hate the word “budget.” It suggests scarcity and constriction. Though I have always been more likely to indulge myself than to deny myself, I have come to realize that, with money as with life, boundaries are often necessary to create more freedom. So, I call my budget my “financial freedom” plan.
How can you create a financial freedom plan? The first step is to define your goals and your values. What would you be doing if you had more time? What responsibilities would you give up if you could? Where do you see yourself in five years if everything goes right in your life? It helps to bring as much detail as you can to your vision.Knowing that I am living my dream of varied days, using my skills to help people find peace and overcome challenge in their financial lives, motivates me to stick to my plan.
The next, and hardest, step is to understand how and why you are spending your money.
Websites such as mint.com and ynab.com help answer the question of how you are spending by downloading and categorizing all of your purchases. My husband and i have found the app Home Budget has helped with the process of answering the Why. The need to manually enter every purchase requires us to bring mindful awareness to each individual spending decision.
Mindful awareness does not necessarily lead us to perfect financial decisions. We are human, after all, and our purchases serve many needs beyond financial, some worthwhile, some….not so much!! Know that developing greater awareness of the emotions and judgments that create these needs will lead to change. And recognize that It is curiosity and compassion, not judgement and disapproval, that encourages this change.
Know that It is curiosity and compassion, not judgement and disapproval, that leads to change.— Laura Rotter (@Rotters5) August 4, 2016
A “financial freedom” plan can put you on the path toward the life of your dreams. To create your plan envision that life, understand the how and why of your individual spending decisions, and bring nonjudgmental awareness to your current spending habits. I will be following up with more details in future blog posts. Until then: -appreciate your money, and what it enables you to accomplish -forgive yourself for being human - recognize that you can always start again tomorrow!