Bringing Your Budget to Life
Your family has probably followed a budget, or at least drafted a budget, or maybe downloaded an app, or at least talked about doing so at some point in your adult life.
But what impact does your budget have on your daily decisions? As life happens, how front-of-mind are those financial figures? If you're like most, your budget gets attention once a month, once a year, or most often, only when there’s a major purchase you want to make or your debt becomes suffocating.
Here’s the awesome part: if your family is currently “keeping it together” without unleashing the power of a meaningful budget for your family’s daily decisions, then the best is certainly yet to come. If you can not only budget your cash flow, but budget meaningfully and well, then you can experience a level of empowerment most families only dream about.
Here’s the foundation: plans about money are really plans about the use of our resources. and plans about the use of our resources are really plans about what is important to us. It’s time to make decisions that most accurately reflect what is important to your family, and you can’t expect that to happen by accident.
Your budget, approached in the right frame of mind, is about freedom and empowerment, not restriction, as many perceive it. And it's not just the empowerment of the family decision makers, but can also serve to give your children and grandchildren a clear sense of direction in life.
To bring your budget to the prime mental real estate of your decision making, you have to engage it multiple times per week, if not daily. This may seem like an impossible task, and it is if you don't currently use budgeting tools that you're comfortable with.
You currently have access to hundreds of robust budgeting platforms, amongst other tools, but most who use these tools lack an understanding of their capabilities. The solution: take the time to develop and own your own personal budgeting system. The more you know and own your system, the more comfortable you'll be with it, and the more comfortable you are with it the more you'll use it.
Another thing to remember: the budget will only give output as good as its input. If your budget input is done out of a sense of obligation instead of inspiration, it will rarely give you meaningful output.
The meaningful input stage will not come until you're confident in the tools you are using. Thank God we live in an age where those tools are more accessible and robust than they've ever been in history. If you can't find a budgeting tool that works for you, then you have to question how committed you are to your family’s values. It is that essential.
If you’re intrigued, your first step isn't to immediately implement a new budget system for your family. That would be overwhelming and a surefire way to prevent you from taking meaningful action. The task for you is to answer one question: are you confident and comfortable that your use of resources accurately reflects your family’s values?
If your answer is anything but a resounding “yes!”, then you already know your next step: reengage your family’s budget. That might look like finding a whole new system. If you are already comfortable with your family’s budgeting process, ramp up engagement. Make the investment in your family to give your budget the quality, thoughtful input it deserves. and watch your entire family be empowered.