Are you one of those people who feels like you can never stick with a budget? That you have all of these grand plans to make and follow a budget, but that every time you try, it ends in a big ole heap of failure?
It’s possible that you have a self-discipline issue or that you have misplaced priorities. But maybe the reason your budget isn’t working is because you just can’t get over the negative connotations that a budget drums up for you.
For instance: It’s possible that you grew up in a family where a budget was used as a method of control and/or punishment. Or, perhaps you had a very strained relationship with your parents and they were firm believers in a budget, so the thought of budgeting brings back bad memories for you.
You may have been in an abusive relationship where the other person was very controlling about money, so the thought of trying to stick with a budget triggers all sorts of negative emotions and anxiety for you.
If you can relate to any of this, I want to encourage you to drop the word “budget” entirely from your vocabulary.
Yes, you read that right!
Now, before you think I’m advocating that you just go on a spending spree and stop thinking about managing your money well, that’s not what I’m referring to at all.
Instead, I’m referring to a complete change in your mindset and approach to how you manage your money.
When I posted that We Need to Have an Honest Conversation About Budgeting, I got this great comment from Jennifer:
Personally, I do think of a “budget” as a constraint (also negative) so why not think of it as a “money plan” instead? -Jennifer
I loved this comment! If budgeting is a negative word for you, stop using the word altogether and start calling it a money plan. Because ultimately, it’s not what you call it that matters; it’s how you execute on it!
There are many people who will never go on a diet because the very word conjures up negative things for them. I know that one of my friends who had an eating disorder cannot diet because it causes her to become obsessive about food in a very unhealthy way.
However, this doesn’t meant that she doesn’t eat well or take care of herself. But she doesn’t go on a restrictive diet plan that tells her what she can’t eat.
It can be the same for your money. Instead of trying to force yourself to “budget” if that word makes you think of bondage and misery, create a plan for your money that gives you the freedom to know what you CAN spend.
Focus on what you GET to do as part of having a plan for your money. For example:
- You will not have to worry about how you are going to pay your bills.
- You will be setting aside money for retirement and life insurance.
- You will have wiggle room to do some fun things.
- You will have the ability to give to causes you believe in.
Do you see how just changing your mindset from a “budget that restricts your life” to a “money plan that enhances your life” can make such a difference?
I’d Love Your Feedback!
This is something I’ve been mulling over ever since I wrote this post. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts and feedback on this, if you’re willing to share: Does a budget feel restrictive to you? If so, why? What are your biggest reasons for not sticking with a budget? Does the word “budget” stir up negative connotations for you?