Two of my very best friends in the whole world (who are super good with numbers; I call them S&S Financial Advisors!) have introduced me to the concept of values and goals relating to budgeting.
*Values are the underlying principles you want to live by, and, therefore, spend your money by.
*Goals are specific, measurable steps you would like to take with your money.
Budgeting can be rather black and white. What comes in, what goes out, blah blah blah. But when you introduce the concepts of values and goals, a budget suddenly comes alive! You can see how it works into your whole life picture. You can see how you can use it, mold it, and shape it to align with your values and goals.
A budget of $75 a week for groceries? Well, that’s boring, and doesn’t add anything to your life other than a number. But if you add the value that you want to buy as many locally grown vegetables each week, well, look at that! You’ve just added value to your life picture. Now, you can sew up a cute tote bag in 20 minutes, and enjoy your Saturday mornings at the farmer’s market. You’re killing a few birds with one stone–a fun sewing project, supporting farmers, eating healthy food, and entertainment for a Saturday morning! One of my favorite things to do!
An example of a goal would be, say, for instance, that last winter you really got the doldrums. Just like, really, really, got cabin fever/the blues/the mean reds and/or a stomach flu. All things that made you desperate to escape, but it wasn’t in the cards (and by that I mean, the budget). So start saving! Set a specific, measurable goal: I want to save $800 for a winter vacation next January. That means you have 10 months to save, so you need to shave off (or earn an extra) $80/month to achieve this goal.
Here’s my suggestion: Come up with THREE values that guide your money decisions, and three GOALS you’d like to see happen in the immediate, near future, and distant future. I’ll share mine in the weekly recap, and you can share yours, too! I have just been loving reading your comments and suggestions.