Trash Your Budget and Become Financially Independent
Annoyed with Budgeting?
How much money do I have left in my wallet? What about my bank account? Should I use my card or cash? since I don't want my wife to know what I am buying? Why can't I even allow myself to enjoy a Latte just because it's not on the budget. This whole budget thing is a bunch of rubbish. From today, I resolve, I am trashing it. No More Budget!
If you feel like that sometimes, you are not alone. There are millions of us out here that want this anti-budget revolution. Besides, even governments all over the globe grapple with the same budget issue. Churches have been known to close - "no more mission trips pastor, no more evangelism, no more baptism, no more church choir, you have exceeded the budget allocation." I am sure some parents can think of times they entertained the thought of postponing the kids' birthdays - "sorry David, you are not turning ten this year."
Budgets Don't Work! An illusion preached in Business Bchools?
I think so many of us have been taught to believe and think that we need a budget to manage our finances. That we need a budget to manage our lives. We need one to prosper and become financially independent. How come we breath without a budget on the air supply, or is there one? or budget how many times in a day your eyes must blink, failure to which, you'll run out of blinking for the next two weeks, until the next budget. And, I am not saying this just to be comical. Many people struggle with budgeting and yet we insist it must be used.Personally, I have struggled to come up with an elaborate budget, later on religiously follow it.
If budgeting comes naturally to you, God bless your soul. But for most people, it's a constant struggle that continues to bring disastrous results. People are living under stress because of being too hard on themselves for not sticking to their budgets. Marriages and partnerships have ended because of budgeting. I know, you will be tempted to say, maybe they broke up because they didn't stick to a budget. Off course they didn't, and that's my point. Why insist on something that isn't working for you. Why not find something workable instead. Something that will inspire you to follow unconsciously.
Budgets are meant for people, not people for the budgets. You have to control the budget, not the budget controlling you. You have gotten it all twisted and that's why you continue to be under stress. It's a guide. So, if it doesn't lead you where you want to go, toss it. The idea of a budget is meant to protect you against yourself. Anything that is made to protect you against yourself is unsustainable. True growth, has to come from within. You have to grow your capacity for control and a budget wont change your personality.
If you love shopping, a budget will be your stumbling block, and whether you choose to shop or stick to your budget, either way, you'll still be frustrated. Budgets don't generally work because they are not fun. Anything that takes away your happiness cannot truly help you. And, don't get me wrong, I am not advocating for recklessness with your money. I am of the view that a budget is not what you need to take control of your finances or to put your life on track. Soon, I'll explain what I have discovered works for me. This isn't my original idea, but It was made clearer to me when I read a little book by David Bach called the "The Automatic Millionaire."
There is a better way to putting your life on track towards financial independence.
It's called a system. Put a system in place that will do things on your behalf and you are on your way to true freedom.
1 - "Pay yourself first." and this can take many forms. Paying yourself first entails taking a percentage of your income and invest it before you even pay taxes and bills. Chances are, you already know how much you require to make a living from your income. Make sure you have it done on your behalf before you even see the money. In short, let your employer or bank do the job for you. With the Internet bringing so much convenience, you don't need to worry about forgetting to pay your bills, credits, rentals, etc. Instruct the bank to do it automatically.
2 - Have some fun. Once you have cleared this huddle of handling money using an automatic system that does consistently what you desire, it's time for some fun. All work without fun, made Joe a dull boy. Take yourself and some friends once in a while to some nice restaurant. Buy yourself the toy you desire. After all you deserve it. Surprise your loved ones. Enjoy life with less stress, while having a goal big enough to inspire you.
3 -Stop buying things on credit. If you can't pay for something with cash, you can't afford it. Period. For heavens sake don't even think of getting more credit cards. If you bought your Flat screen TV using your credit card, let it be the last time you did such a silly thing.
4 - Watch the little things. You can save a lot of money baking your own bread. You don't need a muffin or marble pound cake every morning from Starbucks. My wife and I started baking our own healthy bread and buns and we have saved substantially ever since. This may not appear to be a lot when you are looking at your receipt, but over time these small expenses compound.You'll beat yourself once you discover they are equivalent to your month's rentals after half a year.
5 - Cancel some of those unnecessary cable channels, next generation phone plans which you don't even know what they mean (what's 4G?), or gym memberships that you never use. Stop buying bottled water, diet this-diet that - stop obsessing over counting calories and start running or walking, join some sport, dancing club or whatever. Do something physically active. No one loses weight counting calories. You have to be active and actually do something. Learn to cook your own meals and only go out when you have to.
6 - Throw away all your old budgets that will remind you of your prison days. Unless budgets work for you, don't impose them on others. Stick to your plan and let the automatic system do the work for you.
If you are serious about investment advice, I recommend that you buy the little copy "the Automatic Millionaire - A powerful One-Step plan to Live and Finish Rich." by David Back. I am not in any way affiliated to David or his company in case you think I am advertising for him. I bought the book, read and applied some principles from it. They worked and continue to work for me.
For now, don't beat yourself if you are failing to stick to your budget. Trash it and get on the automatic anti-budget system. Welcome to true freedom!
What is your experience? Do you think budgets work? leave your comment below.