If you think your budget is just a bossy, if quiet, killjoy who can’t wait to deny you a mid-morning run down to the cute cafe at the entrance to your office building, then perhaps you’ve not fully become acquainted.
Sure, budgeting has a rap for being restrictive, but that’s because so many people get started out of fear. They need to fix a problem, like getting out of debt, saving more money or finally breaking free from the stress of living paycheck to paycheck.
Those are all noble reasons to start, but what if you saw your budget as (much) more than just a problem-solver?
Wouldn’t it be a heck of a lot more motivating to look at your budget as a prescription for your biggest, best life—like your very own, personal Tony Robbins, coaching you towards dreams that you’ve been too timid to even admit to yourself?
Dare to Dream
As Tony says, “In life, you need either inspiration or desperation.”
So, what if you chose inspiration? What if, today, you picked a big, hairy, audacious goal—something you’ve dreamed about, maybe for years—and made that the ultimate purpose of your budget?
Do you dream of finally buying your very own slice of residential real estate, perhaps in downtown Chicago?
Or driving off, into the sunset, in a shiny Tesla?
Or, maybe, you want to plan a wedding with all the frills—a perfect, memorable day to swap “I dos” with your honey?
Or, perhaps, you’d be happy making music with a very special, and surprisingly expensive, vintage baritone saxophone …
Something else? What really lights your fire? Got it? Good. Now, write it down.
And, Give It All You’ve Got
Your big dream might feel like a far-cry from your current situation, especially if you’re grappling with debt or struggling to make ends meet. But, to borrow another quote from Tony, your new, favorite life coach:
“Identify your problems, but give your power and energy to solutions.”
And that stuff—the loan repayment plan, the bills, food and shelter—whatever your problems are? Build them into your budget so you can solve them …
But let your dream (your very big life goal!) be your motivator. And, applying Tony’s excellent advice, give your power and energy to your budget!
Plant the Seeds, Now.
Dave, one of YNAB’s humbly awesome teachers, came up with a brilliant concept. It’s called the wish farm, and it’s a system for nurturing your goals from the “There’s no way I can afford that.” phase, all the way to “Wow, I actually just bought this!” phase.
Wish farming is brilliantly simple, and it helps you prioritize fun, life-enhancing, dream-making goals into your budget …
So, what’s your big dream—what did you write down? Go add it to your wish farm, stat.
And, if it’ll help, rename your budget from “My Budget” to “Tony” (see your Budget Settings in YNAB). Now, whenever you’re considering that 10 a.m. chai tea latte, you can ask yourself, “Is this what Tony would want me to do?”
… and, he (your budget named Tony) might say that we all need to have a little fun money at our disposal. Go ahead, get the latte. Or, he might ask you what’s worth more to you—the drink or the dream?
If that all sounds good, but you’d like to learn a bit more, from an actual human (no offense, Budget Tony), then drop into Pay for Big Expenses without Borrowing, one of our free, online classes. Our teachers will show you the ropes, in 20 minutes or less, and they’d be happy to answer your questions.
Your Next Step
Budgeting is not restrictive. You won’t be spending less, you’ll be spending right. So what do you have to lose? Except all that debt and stress?