When I ask people how they manage their money, they commonly tell me I don’t really budget as long as I have enough to pay my bills. Or they look to see if they have money to spend based on their next payday.
And for most people, it seems to work. You aren’t overdrafting your account every month. You pay your bills and aren’t going into debt.
BUT when you don’t budget, you also leave money on the table money that you could consistently save. Just looking at the balance in your account as an approach to budgeting leaves you unprepared for unexpected expenses because you do not have a plan.
My approach to budgeting is different. I believe in creating a budget that gives every dollar a name.
It may sound tedious or like overkill but this approach provides me with clarity because I know the purpose of EVERY single dollar in my account. It gives me confidence in my ability to make financial decisions because I know how every dollar is working to serve me. It also helps me prepare for unexpected expenses without derailing all of my progress or putting me into debt.
This is also the same approach to budgeting I teach my clients.
Giving every single dollar a name helps my clients develop a different mentality about their money. It helps my clients account for their spending proactively so they know where their money is going before they spend it, and it puts them in control.
During my one-month intensive, I help clients identify where to start budgeting so they can stop spinning their wheels. When Amanda came to me, she did not feel organized or ready to implement long-standing changes. As a part of our work together, we created a spending plan (budget). After we created her spending plan, we looked at the current balance in her checking account and gave every dollar a name based on her priorities. She then used this plan to start informing her decision making from day to day, week to week, and month to month.
If she wanted to purchase something, she went back to her spending plan (not her bank account) to make the decision. When she got paid, she already knew the purpose of each dollar. This simple shift in how she was managing her money took her from chaos to control because she started to think about how her money was going to intentionally serve her so she could save more, pay off debt, and stop using her credit card once and for all.
Do your dollars have a name? This simple shift in how you manage your money is the difference between living paycheck to paycheck and managing your money well. This is the difference between making good money and having a positive relationship with your money.
If you want to learn more about how to get started creating a budget/spending plan, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a short video showing you how I use this process in my own life.
All the best,