Do you know the greatest LIE ever told? So epic that we got the babies running around singing it! I bet YOU grew up saying it every other day, I know I did…“sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
Words have immeasurable power in the human mind.
Words have an uncanny ability to affect us like nothing else on the planet. They are like the wind, you can’t actually see it but hot dangit on a windy day you sure as heck will SEE and FEEL the effects of the wind…tangible results. Words are no different.
The words of a King can motivate thousands of men to die for their cause…have you SEEN the movie 300? *got the feels*
The soft words of a mommy can soothe a child in an instant.
Harsh words spoken from a lover can break a person’s spirit.
Words from an admired religious prophet can spawn a global movement.
Words produce tangible results.
While they may not change the reality of a situation, they can serve to change a person’s perception and in turn their behavior.
For example, what do all of these words have in common?
5 am wake up
Right…a list of stuff that makes you wanna run or wanna quit before you even start? Yea, that’s what I think too, cause ewwww, don’t care if its good for me! #sorrynotsorry
But on a serious note, these words all cause a deeper reaction within us that makes us resist like a mo’fo’!
Why though? Because they are words that represent things that we can’t have or ish that we HAVE to do.
Of course this isn’t directly stated, but think of other stuff associated with these words…diet = no more fun food, 5 am wake up = no more sleeping in, brown rice = yuck, and on and on.
All because of the associations we develop around a word…
So NO, you’re not crazy, there is a reason that you avoid a “BUDGET” like it’s the plague!
To most people, me included, a budget means no more fun, restrictions, I’m broke, scarcity, tedious tracking, BORINGGGGGG…and that’s coming from an accountant!
But a spending plan is absolutely necessary if you ever want to be financially free.
While I can’t change that reality, we CAN change your perception by reframing your mindset.
First, STOP calling it a budget.Yes, it really is that simple. Remember those word associations??? Mmmhmmm…stop it.
You’re not budgeting your money, you’re literally deciding how to SPEND your money…yaaasss I can get on board with spending money! You can call it whatever you want, but around my house we call it money mapping.
Why a map? Because it implies a trip, and on a trip you can change course or direction at any time for any reason. It reminds me that none of this is set in stone and gives me peace of mind that I don’t have to stick to some rigid arbitrary numbers on a piece of paper.
My money does what I tell it to do, even if that destination changes mid-month. *sigh* So freeing.
I don’t care what you call it; pick something that works for you. Just know that you NEED one. And here are my top reasons why:
- Wealth Building Strategy– We use our money map as a wealth-building tool to increase our investing, not to cut our expenses. When hubby and I sit down to review our monthly map, we can see where we want to allocate and/or divert money over the next month. Our outgo doesn’t change, it just gets allocated differently based on our current goals.
While you may not need to cut costs, you definitely need to make sure that the way you’re spending your money is in line with your wealth plans! You gotta put your dolla’s to the best use and you can’t do that without a plan.
- Empowered Decision Making – This goes hand in hand with my previous point. How can you make good decisions without having good information?
Like they say, garbage in garbage out. For example, just recently we had the opportunity to buy a plot of land to build a rental property on. It was a smokin’ deal and we needed to act fast!
But my money map GPS warned me that we would be biting off more than we could chew based on our current goals. So we left well enough alone. Often times we’ve been totally guilty of jumping at an opportunity because we could “afford” it and ended up somewhere we def didn’t want to be.
But again, because I know where all of my dollars are headed I am empowered to make decisions in real time! And that doesn’t always mean spend, it’s a system that gives me the green light to spend, redirect, or wait and see…and that’s powerful.
No headache involved.
- Marital Peace – < —–THIS ONE IS LIFE! Legit, this one hands down is worth it all alone! When you said “I do” you said I do to both a person and ALL of their money habits, “for better or worse”. And as you can see, this is no easy feat!
Most times, we think we’re arguing about her buy all of Nordstrom’s or him always being a cheap’o on anniversary gifts. To be honest, it goes waaaayyy deeper than that. It’s never really about the money.
We’re talking about combining two totally different money mindsets that were shaped and developed by your different upbringings. So how do you fight this uphill battle??? You don’t…simply put you just don’t.
You let your money map do the guiding. I may be aging myself here, but remember before Siri would give you turn by turn directions to like EVERYWHERE? When we had to use a Thomas Guide (map) to get anywhere?
There were no arguments about him making a wrong turn, stopping to get a million directions, or any of that! Why? Because the Thomas Guide was your map and told you exactly what to do. It took travel preferences out of the picture and guided you where you could or couldn’t go.
A money map does the exact same thing. You’ve already decided together what your priorities are going to be and mapped out your money accordingly. So when alternate paths pop up during the month, neither one of you has to say “yes” or “no” to what the other wants. The map will check you real quick if need be or give you the green light! Easy peasy, no more hurt feelings.
- Freedom to Spend – Here’s where magic happens! Having a spending plan allows me to spend my money however I want. I don’t have to deny myself ANYTHING! What do I mean? Well let’s say I have a fancy for purses…not a problem, just plan for it.
I could literally blow half of our monthly income on purses and not feel any type of guilty if I’ve planned for it. Now I’m sure this would probably kill my wealth building vibe, but just knowing that I have the freedom to spend what I have the way I want makes all the difference.
And this is the key to being consistent with your money plan. You get to spend the way you ACTUALLY live. If you’re not a frugal miser, no need to force yourself. If you ARE a penny pincher then that’s ok too…your spending plan should reflect your values and goals…no guilt or sacrifice involved.
In the end, how you THINK about your money is vitally important to being able to manage it wisely. Words are powerful, so drop the “budgeting” mindset and learn to spend your money well! You don’t “budget”, you plan.
This small change can help you to look at your spending in a whole new light. Because the truth is, if you ever want to become financially free, you have to master the skill of telling your money exactly what to do. And you can’t do that if you’re stuck thinking about a “budget”.
It is this ability that will lead to true wealth building, peace betwixt you and your spouse, authenticity with the way you truly live your life, and the knowledge and confidence to handle every decision or opportunity that comes your way.
Seriously, it’s not about restrictions and what you can or can’t have… get freakin’ excited about this money train girl!