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As a finance enthusiast, even I can admit: budgeting isn’t really a ‘fun’ word. It’s kind of like 'vegetables.' Just seeing the word can make us feel insecure about our life choices. It immediately reminds us of something we should be doing better, yet ironically, leaves us feeling discouraged - not inspired - to change.
But there’s good news! We don’t have to run away from the topic hoping it leaves us alone already. Because here’s the thing: budgeting isn’t out to get you! That’s right. You don’t have to budget, period. And you’ll be just fine. I’m sure of it.
So I’m not here to tell you what you should do or make you feel bad if you don’t. Instead, let’s take an honest look at the biggest benefits of budgeting, and then you can decide for yourself if you might actually want to budget. Genuinely.
Let's say you’re convinced that budgeting matters - so much so that you’re willing to give it a shot! What now?
In this post, we’ll get some clarity on what we mean by the term budgeting, the mindsets we need to go about it healthily, and a few practical steps on how to get started budgeting today. Woo!
Ahh, budgeting. We've been told we should, but we don’t. It’s a love hate relationship, just without the love part.
So what if - what if - we shouldn’t? What if under certain circumstances we’re actually perfectly justified - better off, even - to stop budgeting?
In my mind, there are four scenarios that call into question the need and legitimacy of budgeting as a financial discipline.
Most of us have been told that we should keep a budget. Most of us have been told that we should avoid credit card debt. If we’re lucky, we’ve even been told we should save and invest some of our money each month. But what’s the big picture? What are we really aiming for, and why? Any good financial planner, before recommending a financial plan, is going to take some time getting to know our personal goals and aspirations. Similarly, we need to have a familiarity with our financial philosophy before we dig into the details of our financial habits. My financial philosophy is simple: Live Now. Live Long. Change The World.
Poverty, Riches, & Wealth is a quick and fascinating read that essentially functions as a compilation of anything and everything Kris Vallotton has to say about money. Many of chapters feel only loosely connected at best, but each one is packed with revelatory insight, which is particularly refreshing given that money is a topic that most pastors either misunderstand, intentionally manipulate, or avoid altogether. And of course, in classic Kris V fashion, the interwoven stories throughout the book are the icing on the cake - this dude is hilarious. Some of the high points Kris hits on include:
I'm really curious how you would answer a couple questions. First off, do you think money is intrinsically good, bad, or neither? And secondly, how much money do you think you'll have one day - at your financial peak?
Or what if I put it this way: if you could have anywhere between $0 and $1,000,000,000 dollars, how much would you want? Take a sec; think about it.
Think about what you would do if you were rich. Not what you would buy, but how you would live.
Would you travel more? Spend more time with friends and family? Start a ‘passion’ career doing what you love, working because you want to and not because you have to? Would you look for opportunities to give money towards the causes you care about or the people you love? Would you volunteer more to make a difference in society? Or maybe treat yourself to things you enjoy? Or better yet, how about all of the above??
The good news is, you don’t have to win the lottery to live like the rich. These dreams are not just possibilities for one day, but can be your present reality, starting today.
If you've ever read anything about credit cards, you're well aware that there can be a stigma around them. You've probably even felt inspired watching Dave Ramsey cut a few cards to pieces. But what's all the beef really about, anyway? Sure, credit card debt is bad, but is it still unethical to use them if you pay them off every month?
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