The Dreaded B Word!
After 16 years as a Personal Finance Coach, I still find it interesting to see people’s reaction to the word BUDGET. It feels so restrictive and, actually, almost like punishment I’m told. Clients hang their heads in shame or embarrassment, in childlike fashion. Yet, when I use the term Spending Plan, the reaction is much gentler though it means the same thing. Interesting, isn’t it?
The budget, or spending plan, in its simplest form is a tool to guide the family towards their long term goals and dreams. Few look at it from this perspective. Most, or at least many, see it as limiting to one’s current freedom rather than moving one towards their chosen future dream. The budget again is a TOOL. Nothing more, nothing less.
The actual issue at hand is the fact that many households do not bring focus and discussion to where they want to go in life, corporately as a couple, much less as a family. The goal is not to survive a life time together and eventually land somewhere where they can gripe about what others have and who’s fault it is (stated or implied) that they never got more out of life than this, if they make it that far. The goal is to communicate ~one of the main problems! ~and to strive together in a combined family vision. By this I don’t mean that they are always hand in hand but rather that the overall goal is theirs. Often the hesitation is the fear of judgment one may receive from their partner should they try to express themselves, to have a voice. That in itself is a full other discussion.
Finally, with a strong focused spending plan, yes, a budget, I have seen couples stay together who were days away from divorce; I have seen families grow in empowered togetherness; and I have seen people move from selfish individuals within a couple to loving and serving partners enjoying shared passions. Can spending plans only work for couples? No. I have also seen sole or single parent families grow towards their vision.
What of you? Are you afraid of the dreaded B word? I can help.