What feelings come up when I say the word “Budget”? If you are like most people, the words are often negative: restrictive, guilt, shame, hard, daunting, discouraging. I completely understand those emotions and feelings. I have had most of them myself with regard to this bad word: budget. Why is it we are all told to budget, but then most of us have such negative feelings surrounding the process?
It is because budgeting done in the normal way is restrictive! It is a process that can guilt us and shame us! We write down our income, we estimate our expenses, then we cross our fingers and hope it all goes well. When something inevitably changes or goes wrong, instead of the budget helping us flex with it, it stares back at us with big red negative numbers and seems to imply that it’s our fault that our life changed, or our priorities changed.
So I’d like to suggest a mindset shift. Instead of budgeting, let’s talk about holding up our money mirror. When we hold up our money mirror, we are simply asking the question: “Does our spending align with our values?” It isn’t about guilt, or about “I should…” It is simply “Is this close to my values, or far away from them?” This simple shift can completely revolutionize how we think about money, and about the act budgeting.