We need to have an honest conversation here. Because there’s a big problem I’ve been noticing over the past few years. It’s causing all sorts of financial issues, marriage tension, and stress.
It’s a big problem, but there is a pretty simple solution. And I want to get up on my soapbox today and talk to you about this problem. Because it’s high time we not only acknowledge the problem, but we talk about a solution.
What’s the problem, you ask?
It’s this: people have a negative view of the word budget.
Like, it’s all fun and games until I bring up the word “budget” and then everyone looks at me like I suddenly grew horns and contracted cooties.
Y’all, the word budget is not a bad word.
It’s not an inappropriate word.
It’s not even a negative word.
It’s a POSITIVE word.
And the sooner we can start believing that, living from that belief, and celebrating the amazing-ness that is a budget, the sooner we’ll start experiencing more financial success, more unity in our marriage, and so much less stress.
As someone who has lived and breathed by a written budget over 14+ years of marriage, I’m a living testament to that.
A budget is not something that will make your life miserable. It’s not a ball and chains. It’s not bondage. It’s not a straight jacket.
It’s not any of the negative, icky things you’ve pre-determined that it is. In fact, it’s the opposite of negative… if you choose to view it that way.
Here are just a few reasons I believe that a budget is a very positive thing:
A budget is a powerful weapon. It is your best hope for getting out of debt. It is your strongest tool for being able to make financial traction. A budget helps you to know where to spend your money and where not to spend your money. Instead of having to stress over where to spend your money, a budget will direct you to exactly how you should spend your money.
A budget is a marriage unifier. Sitting down and creating a budget together forces you to learn to communicate and get more on the same page financially — and probably in other areas of your marriage. It will likely open the door to many conversations about a variety of subjects and will give you the opportunity to have discussions you might have no even known that you needed to have!
A budget reduces fights in our marriage. I’m a natural saver and Jesse is a natural spender and we are so different in so many ways. We have had to work hard to not let our differences break us apart. Creating and following a budget helps us to learn to work together better and to compromise in a healthy way. And ultimately, it removes so much tension that could come from our spender/saver relationship because we’ve already pre-determined how much money we feel is good to have in each spending category.
A budget makes decision-making easier. If you usually struggle to make decisions, a budget can simplify your decision-making process by helping you to know quickly whether or not something is a wise purchase for you right now. It will save you time and it will eliminate post-purchase regret!
A budget is a gift to your life. The clarity that creating and following a budget will give you will bring so much added fulfillment and purpose to your life. Plus, if you’re a person who likes to spend money, a blow category in your budget can give you just the breathing room you need to be able to spend money for fun — without the guilt!
A budget brings so much freedom. If you often stress over purchases and wonder whether you really have the money to make a certain purchase, you need a budget. A budget gives you the peace of mind to know that you have enough money to cover your expenditures for the month and that when you go to the store and spend money from your grocery category, you’re not eating into your ability to pay your electricity bill this month.
A budget is a roadmap for success. When you create a budget, it challenges you to think longterm where you want to be financially. It allows you to set goals — to pay off debt, to save up to pay cash for something, to slowly change your financial position — and then serves as a guide to help you achieve those goals.
I look back over the past 14 years of our marriage and can point to our decision to follow a budget as one of the biggest keys to so much less stress, tension, and the thing that has brought so much more peace, calmness, and joy into our life.
Which is why I just can’t understand why anyone would think negatively about a budget. Because, for us, it’s been the best thing ever and I can’t recommend it highly enough!
The solution to this big problem is simple: stop viewing a budget as a negative thing and start celebrating all its positive attributes. It might be a slow process of reshaping your viewpoint and shifting your belief system. But it can be done… little by little, day by day.
I challenge you to put the effort to change your perspective on budgeting from a negative thing to a positive thing. Your perspective can change everything — including your success at budgeting.
And when you can set up and follow a budget + experience the freedom and joy that can come from it, you could very well completely change your life and the lives of your family and your future grandchildren and great-grandchildren!
How has a budget positively impacted your life? I’d love to hear! Share in the comments.