Budgeting Blues? Don't Get Discouraged!

By: Kyrk Davis, October 8, 2018

What do you think about when you hear the word "budget"? Does it conjure up images of bare walls, ramen noodles and decade-old cars? The financial equivalent of going on a starvation diet? For many of our clients, we can see them cringe when we even start to talk about creating a budget. People envision a notebook, where they laboriously write down every tiny expenditure they make, with no money allowed to be spent on anything enjoyable. Believe me, this doesn't sound like fun to anyone. 
 
But I want to encourage everyone to think about the idea of budgeting from a different angle. Yes, we do set our clients up with tools to help keep track of spending - we use eMoney software, because tedious as it sounds, it is important to know where your money is going, and many people actually have no clue. But once that's set up, trust me, it isn't that time-consuming. 
 
At the end of the day, the purpose of tracking and budgeting isn't to restrain you and make you have no life. Bear with me here. First, we always tell people that one of the main goals of what we do at Family Financial Partners is organizing your financial life. Being able to quickly and easily see where your money is going is a big part of that, but it also allows you to see exactly how much you have to spend on the fun stuff. 
 
Wait, what? I can spend my money on fun things? Yes. And this doesn't just apply to people whose budgets are a little tighter than others. We see many clients with sizable incomes who are afraid to make a budget out of fear of being told no - to everything. But what's the point of having money if you can't say yes to some things?
 
We had a new client family come in recently who makes a very comfortable income, and was getting the full match in their employer-sponsored 401(k). But somehow, they were always strapped for cash. Everything after the 401(k) contribution was being spent, and they had no idea on what. Once we sat down with them and went over what they earned vs. what they spent, it turned out there was plenty to put away for the future and cover bills while still enjoying life today. Now, they know exactly what they can play with each month, while sleeping at night knowing their other goals were taken care of. The budget set them free.
 
Here's the point of all this: if you have a budget that fits your income, goals and lifestyle, when you do spend money on whatever it is that catches your eye, it's guilt-free. And that's a much better way to live. 
 
What budgeting questions do you and your family have? Our team is always here to help. And I promise, we won't tell you you can't have any fun. 

Family Financial Partners | Growing Wealth, For Generations ™