We just recently had a large, large family get-together. I come from a large family and that family comes from a large family, and when you combine all these large families together, well, you just have one very big, incredibly large family.
It provided a moment to step back and think about what is important. (Although, it wasn’t super easy to do this as it was also very loud.) But it got me thinking about—what else—budgeting and priorities.
Your Priorities As True North
If you get caught up in the thick of things and need to reassess, you can always pull back and think about your priorities.
When you are dealing with a bunch of stuff at work or considering a career change, or going back to school, or having another baby or getting married—no matter what it is—in the big decisions (and the small ones) you have an anchor point.
Whatever really matters to you, whatever is most important in life, these priorities are your true north.
The Discipline of Aligning Your Time & Money
This is why so many people feel so much discontentment when it comes to their money. Because priorities are such a big deal and our money, for the most part, is not lined up with them.
When you are spending your money on things that don’t really matter to you there is some friction there and it breeds discontent. And it usually comes to a head when there is some kind of big event or decision that serves as a wake-up call.
Checks & Balances
So don’t wait for that big moment. Don’t let your discontent grow larger than life. The budget provides an opportunity to create smaller, more frequent moments to reassess your priorities before things get too out of hand.
It becomes a force of habit and each and every time, you are a little bit more in control of your money and your life. You will feel peace replace discontentment. Peace that is not the result of making more money, but rather, the discipline of focusing your money toward the things that you actually care about.
Time & Money Are Finite. Spend Wisely.
Turns out, the same is true for our time. If we spend our time on things that we really care about, we will also feel a lot of contentment.
Our happiness is dependent upon taking the time and space to decide what is important, what matters most, what brings you joy and to spend your money and your time accordingly. Because at the end of the day, your money is your life. (Which also happens to be the thesis of my favorite personal finance book of all time, Your Money or Your Life.)
Don’t underestimate the power of the budget to help you be aware of your priorities and stay in alignment with what you really care about.