Recently, I created a budget for my household which, not gonna lie, had me a little apprehensive at first. As I was developing the budget, I realized that I was in as bad shape as I thought I was! I know that’s crazy, right? But it also put me in “fix it” mode. I started to list everything-credit card debt, personal loan debt, from balances to minimum payments to available credit. All I’m gonna say is, it was a sight to behold. And then it got real….
How was I gonna fix this? Notice I didn’t say I don’t know what to do, or, this is never going to get better. I went in with the idea that I CAN AND WILL develop a plan of attack and face this issue head on. I started exploring options. Should I get another, better paying job? Should I keep my job and get a 2nd job? Should I 10X my efforts in my side hustle? Should I start selling stuff on amazon, ebay, craigslist, etc.? Should I do all of these things? All of these are options I will explore and devise a plan around each these to determine the work and time involved to eventually overcome being in the red every month.
The process allowed me to take all of the apprehension and fear and suspicion out of my head and onto paper! That, in and of itself, was a relief! What is on paper, allows me to rationally and methodically plan and attack the issues that are holding me back financially. With all these figures all on paper, I can take control and do what needs to be done. The first lesson in this process is knowledge and with that I have power to implement a strategy to overcome at least one obstacle to my peace of mind.
So creating a budget doesn’t have to be scary. It can be revealing. It can be eye opening. It can put you on the offensive rather than the defensive, if you look into it early enough. That is, if you are brave enough to put a budget on paper before you are in the red, you still have the power to turn things around. But it doesn’t have to be scary. Having the foresight to acknowledge there is a problem but I can’t put my finger on it, should be encouraging to you. Maybe if I map it out I may be able to identify where the problem is.
When you look at your finances and see what you are actually spending every month, it can empower you to make changes that will affect your quality of life in profoundly positive ways. You will find that you can cut spending and save money or even invest money in things that will help you achieve certain goals but you never thought you could because you thought you didn’t have any money. Once you write these numbers down, you will discover that the money is there it just has been misplaced. You have power in everything you do. Creating a budget and sticking to it is only one of those things.