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Budget: The Four-Letter-Word That Isn't

budget Jan 25, 2019

Four-Letter Words

People either love or hate four-letter words. That’s because four-letter words stir up a lot of emotions. When someone refers to a four-letter-word, they are either talking about curse words or words that are linked to restrictions. The word “diet” is a perfect example of that restrictive thought. When someone says “diet,” we immediately think “restriction.” Uh, oh. They are going to make me stop eating my favorite food or restrict me in some way that makes me feel uncomfortable. However, the word “diet” refers to whatever you are eating and in whatever way you choose to eat. If your doctor were to ask you what your diet is like, she wants to know what and how you are eating right now. She’s not assuming you are restricting yourself. We assume a diet is restrictive. However, your diet is only restrictive if you choose to make it that way.

When you hear the word “budget,” you might get a feeling that is pretty much similar to visiting your dentist. Oh, no. This is going to hurt, right? That’s because “budget,” like “diet,” sounds painful to most people. “Budget” is a four-letter-word that is not a four-letter word. People assume that it comes with a lot of restrictions. However, every budget is different and your budget is completely your own. It is only defined by you and, therefore, is only as restrictive as you create it to be. In other words, you define your budget and you get to decide what you get to spend your money on. You can make it as sugar-free or as heavily laden with healthy fats as you want. The point is, you get to decide.

Why Does the Word “Budget” Feel So Bad?

Having said that, creating a budget can often be stressful. Why? Because we are often forced to look at our expenses and see the truth, which is not always fun but it is what it is. We suddenly realize that our morning stops at Starbucks five days a week are costing us a significant amount of money per year. We can see that a pack-a-day cigarette habit of an 18-year-old could have funded a retirement account with a $1.3 million-dollar balance by age 65. That is why “budget” is a four-letter-word. We tend to see what we did wrong or what we are still doing wrong and we punish ourselves by feeling bad or guilty.  More often, just the word "budget" will trigger enough pain in our minds about what we subconsciously know we are doing wrong that we avoid creating a budget at all.  We sure don't want to go there.

However, I want you to forget the past. It’s gone and we can’t change it. Instead, let’s focus on the present, the now, and the only point in time that we have any control over.

“Now is always the best time because it’s really the only time.”
– Michelle Russell, 50 Shades of Green

Now you are going to take control and really dictate where you are going to spend your money. You don’t need to focus on where you have been spending money in the past. You only need to concern yourself with where you want to be spending your money now. This is way less painful because you don’t have to give yourself 1,000 lashes for each past misspending. Besides, without mistakes, we don’t learn what doesn’t work. Sometimes, we need to experience for ourselves what doesn’t work in order to find the path to what does work. I want to give you examples of how you can make your budget work.


How Do You Get Unstuck?

If you have read any of my books, reports, or blogs, you’ll know what the most important thing you need to do in order to make more money and increase prosperity in your life. You need to change your mindset in regards to money. It really is that simple.

You see, for years I worked in the seminar industry. I saw the same people attend event after event, year after year. A few of those people were extremely successful, showing up to each event excited about the changes they were experiencing in their lives. There were many more, however, who struggled. The strugglers would earn just enough to pay for each event but still remained stuck. I began to wonder what the difference was between them, the successful people and those who struggled. What made some succeed while the majority failed. I really began to study people and talk to them. They were reading basically the same books, listening to the same speakers and authors, taking a lot of the same actions, so what was the difference?

I’m not going to hold out on the answer. The difference was mindset and action. The people who created massive wealth and success in their lives believed they could. They were sure of it. They weren’t wishy-washy about it. They were positive. They also planned well and took massive action. It’s one thing to attend an event or read a book. It is quite another to allow that event or book to empower you to make a change in your life and take action on it. Most were excited at the event but went home and back to their same old routine within a week. Same old, same old. The winners, the ones who really got it, didn’t just get excited at the events. They planned and plotted changes in their lives and took steps applying massive action to those steps right away. That’s the difference. They made those changes real and they made change happen in their lives.

Changing the Way You Think

Now you know the first step you need to take is to change the way you think about money and about the word “Budget.” By nature, most of people think that creating a budget is a tedious and restrictive accounting process. If you change the way you think about it, you can set off a chain reaction that can potentially change your life forever in a really positive way.

“Money is energy. That energy needs guidance. It flows and is meant to flow, like water. You have to be the architect of that flow. You have to tell your money where to go. You have to build water mills to use what you have to create even more energy. You have to build dams to stop it flowing where it should not. Be the master of the flow.”
-Michelle R Russell, 50 Shades of Green

You need to become the architect who determines the flow of your money’s energy.

From now on, you determine where every penny that you earn goes. You can be as complete or as undetailed as you want: it’s your money. However, planning ahead can bring you great advantages.

For example, Dave Ramsey came up with a story of two brothers who add only $2,000 to their retirement savings each year. The first brother starts when he is 18 and only does it for 8 years, putting a total of $16,000 into his IRA. The other brother starts at age 26 and does it every year until he is 65, nearly 40 years longer than his brother did. However, when they are both 65, the one who started sooner and only did it for 8 years will have $2,288,997 saved for retirement. Meanwhile, his brother, who added $2,000 per year every year for 39 years, adding $78,000 of his own money to his IRA but starting later, will only have $1,532,183. Crazy, right? Just goes to show you that the sooner you begin planning, the less you will have to save. That’s all.

The chart below shows you just how that example works.


Why Budgets Are Awesome

The primary objective of creating a budget is to achieve your financial goals with minimum hassle. Like exercise, it is self-discipline, but also like exercise, it is well worth the effort. Remember, too, that you really must take this knowledge and put it into action now. Don’t just read this, do this and do it now. Taking action is always the difference that creates new and better habits that lead to success.

When you are on track to achieve your financial goals, you will never again be at the mercy of any economic situation. You will be the one in control. There are no straight jackets to restrict you. You choose how detailed your budget will be. You choose the categories to include. You create a budget that goes perfectly with your lifestyle and who you are. Your budget will determine your opportunities, help you reach your goals, and overcome the stress of the unknown. You’ll be prepared for emergencies and not at the mercy of them. Best of all, you will enjoy life more and for a much longer time, because studies have proven it.

Thinking in a New Way

It is important for you to think of the word “budget” with a new and open mind. The word only has the meaning you give to it. Your budget should empower you to spend within your means, eliminate all your debt, and save for the future. A good budget is powerful and nothing beats the feeling of security that it gives you.

As you can see, your budget will be created in your mind. You are the architect who will design it and with it, your future. Mindset and then action is the way. The Prosperity Process is here to help. You can find the Steps to Building a Budget here, in our August 11th Blog.  Remember to take action now.





Michelle R Russell

© The Prosperity Process, LLC  

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