Since the pandemic began, many people have lost their jobs or had their hours cut. Now more than ever, it’s evident that managing your money well is extremely important. If you’ve never truly sat down and focused on where your money goes, it’s time to learn how to create a budget.
I’ll never forget a conversation I had with an acquaintance many years ago. We had been talking about money and debt, and she said, “well, you have to have debt if you have three kids.” I didn’t really engage, but I remember being taken aback, if not completely surprised by the comment.
I’ve done a few things with my family that have left some people puzzled about our socioeconomic status. How can we afford to do all the travelling we do? We’re not rich by any means. We’re just good planners, and we happen not to care what other people think about our lifestyle. If you want to be able to afford those extra experiences you’ve been dreaming of, you’ll need too learn how to create a budget that works for you—and then stick to it.
Way back when, I was a poor, broke, indebted university student. I was barely making ends meet while working two jobs and pursuing a dual degree. More often than not, when I was asked to do something or go somewhere, my answer was “I can’t afford it.” It didn’t quite feel embarrassing (I was used to being broke), but it did feel like a downer – and like I didn’t have a lot of control over my situation. Truth be told, at the time, I really couldn’t afford much more than tuition, books, and rent (I got some help with the food situation – but that’s a story for another day).
Fast forward to a few years later—all my debt was paid off, and I was in a good financial situation. But I often still said “I can’t afford it” when I was asked to do something. Then I stopped to think, and I figured out that in reality, I could indeed afford it, if I moved some money around. The truth was, though, I didn’t want to do that – I had different financial priorities.
Now, when I’m asked if I want to go somewhere or do something, I never say “I can’t afford it.” Instead, I proudly say, “it’s not in my budget.” These simple words don’t mean that I’m broke. They mean that I have full control of where my money is going, and I have the confidence to stand by my priorities. You should try this – stop saying that you’re broke, and start saying that it’s not in the budget.
What’s that now?
You don’t have a budget?