Are you turned off by the idea of a 'budget'? I know I am... and I know most of my clients are too. It may sound like the same medicine, just wrapped up in a fancy bottle, but a Spending Plan is philosophically very different. Let me explain...
Money touches every aspect of our lives. It is usually involved, to some degree, in helping us create a life that is meaningful. Being intentional - and conscious - about where your money WILL be spent becomes a powerful exercise in reclaiming some say.
Too often - and despite our very best intentions - we find ourselves at the end of the month (or year!) wondering: where did all that money go? (a worthy question, but one that can also keep you stuck in shame, blame, frustration, and guilt).
Instead, try a new approach. It is the 1st the month, a perfect time for a fresh start!
Sit with your calendar and a piece of paper. After you pay your bills and address all the static expenses, look beyond to what will be happening AND what you would like to happen: happy hour with your girlfriends, a birthday party, gas & picnic money for a weekend hike, supplies for your house project, & perhaps some fall sweaters...
The things on the list may or may not have any spending associated with them (and I always, always encourage looking for creative low/no cost alternatives). BUT, if they do require money - and you forget to plan for them - the outcome could be one of two things: You do it, even if you don't have the money (it goes on a credit card or just feels crappy) OR you don't do it and you feel disappointment and frustration because this ALWAYS happens.
A 'Spending Plan' helps you see what is important to you in advance - what's happening this month that deserves or requires your financial attention. It is also flexible... unlike our connotations of a strict 'BUDGET', this is your money and YOU can change your mind!
Where will you guide your money this month??