Own Your Budget

Be proud of your budget.

This one I can SPEAK too for sure. When Bill and I got serious about being on a budget it was hard for us. When I say “us”, I mean me. We categorically disagreed on where our money should go and how much we needed for each category. What we agreed on was what we wanted out of our life. Financial peace. Enough to live, give and leave a legacy for our kids.

Budgets have a specific intention of a goal. Here is the definition of budget:

  1. An estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time.
  2. A quantity of material, typically that which is written or printed.

To me a budget felt suffocating, like scarcity, like a curse. BUT, listen up, we had a funny path to our budget. Bill wanted one and I didn’t. He said I was killing us one trip to Target at a time. Clearly not Target’s fault.

One day I conceded to tracking what I spent. It was ugly. I taped a piece of paper to one of our cabinets in the kitchen and every time I went to the store, okay, TARGET, I wrote it down. BRING on the hurt. Every day Bill came home and went RIGHT TO THE CABINET.

Cut to the end of the story. I conceded to a budget. He was right, I was “killing us one trip to Target at a time”. That was a ligit quote.

We made categories for our discretionary expenses.

Groceries, clothes, entertainment, hair-cuts, coffee money for Karen.

Budgets are important because they allow you to do the things that you cannot do without one. You can GIVE, plan vacations, save for a car, pay off debt, PLAN FOR YOUR FUTURE. If every day your “hoping” things start working out, I’m here to tell you, they won’t. Just callin em like I see em.

Budgeting is merely telling your money where to go. There is another amazing revelation from creating and sticking to a budget, it tells you what life you THINK you have vs. what life you actually HAVE. That is really powerful. I have always subscribed to the life approach that if what you’re doing isn’t working, change what you are doing.

Having a budget has helped Bill and I realize that we make enough money in our traditional jobs, but we wanted more out of our lives.

Here is something else you can learn when you have a BUDGET:

If your life exceeds your income your choices are: 1. Cut back or 2. Make more money. Period.

We started venturing out to other ways to make income. He has become a fast student of the real estate investment world and is loving that work. I am blogging and teaching. I am loving that work.

I know it sounds harsh BUT the harsh reality is one day you will wake up 20 years from now and you will have to decide if you are where you thought you would be? Or will you be wondering what happened?

I bless you on your soul journey. I really do. I have seen too much and have come to a place in my life where I think we can do better. I KNOW we can do better. It is my wish for you. WE should live fearlessly. WE should live intentionally. Everything you do now is for the benefit or detriment of your future self.

When I was in my 20’s, before I met my husband, I chased happiness in the moment. The dinner with friends, the fun weekend adventure, the nice clothes. It was something I grew through. When I met Bill, I had $10k in credit card debt and thought “I cannot tell him, I must pay this off.” I worked hard. I was ashamed of the debt.  I knew I had nothing to show for it.

Fast forward to today. We have a fully paid off home. We have no consumer debt. We have no student loans. We have retirement and savings over 7 figures. We are JUST LIKE YOU!

Here is how we did it:

  1. We said NO when other said yes.
  2. We stuck to our budget.
  3. We saved and paid CASH for things we wanted, a new car, a new couch, a new TV. You can be SURE it was a sweet day when we made those purchases.
  4. We didn’t go first class. We would decide where we could cut corners, pack lunch, have dinner at home and go out for dessert.
  5. We put value in people and experiences, not stuff.

You CAN do this.  I KNOW YOU CAN. You’ve got this.

With love,

Karen and Bill

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