Financial Health definitely involves a budget.
What are the first thoughts that come to mind when you hear the word “budget?”
I mean, budgets are made to restrict my spending, cut certain expenses completely, and severely limit other spending areas, right?
Like the word BUDGET, the word DIET also has a negative connotation. In fact, now many health gurus and nutritionists use the term “lifestyle change” in place of diet to note this is something that must continue for a lifetime for true physical health.
And being healthy promotes freedom.
How does freedom, the opposite of restriction, come into that picture? Don’t we all want to be “free” to eat whatever we want? We do indeed all have that option. However, when we do eat or drink whatever we desire (sugar, alcohol, junk food, etc), then the consequence is that our bodies become sick. Eventually, we find that we cannot go where we want, wear what we want, or do what we want to do because our health limits us. How much more can our financial health (or unhealth) affect us!
Similarly, when we spend our money on whatever we want whenever we want, we develop a chronic financial illness. We exchange short-term junk food-like spending for long-term financial health. This impacts our future. We will be severely limited in many areas: in the home we can afford, where we live, our jobs, our education, our retirement age, etc – every area will be touched. And, if a larger-expense emergency should come (read WHEN it comes), our options will be very few.
What if your perspective on budgeting could be shifted?
Instead of being a negative concept, realize that a budget is empowering and healthy. YOU are telling your money where to go each month. You begin to value saving over frivolous junk-food spending. And this behavior of regular budgeting (aka cash flow planning) opens up opportunities and FREEDOM to you. Imagine life with no debt payments and with a six-month emergency fund and maybe even an annual expense and asset replacement accounts to beef up your financial muscles.
This is the very example of financial health.
It’s never too late to begin your journey. Start today with a written cash flow plan for the next 30 days. You can even pay yourself first by putting money in savings. Then you’ll be on your way to a healthy financial life.