- Sarah Bengtsson
Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.
- Pablo Picasso
People tend to think that budgeting is important. You’ve heard it before, probably over a million times from thousands of different people. But I don’t really think you need one.
Budgeting takes time, energy, and worst of all - it distracts us from the bigger picture. It’s only an idealistic plan and does nothing to actually put money in your savings account, build your safety net, or pay down a debt. And well, even if they did, people don’t really stick to them anyway.
Just think about it, the templates you use suffer from one fundamental flaw; they are just that - templates. A written statement of someone else’s priorities. Your life is not a template. It is reality. The conventional advice out there might not actually apply to how you want to live your life, so why force it?
How you manage your money should not be determined by some money nerd like me, but by your own personal desires and values. This applies to every other aspect of life, like your career or relationships, then why are we so confused when it comes to our money?
I don't use a budget and only loosely track my spending, but it works because my spending aligns with my values and I make saving a priority. That is also what I teach my clients. As long as you have your money goals and make sure that you’re saving enough to reach them, you don’t really have to worry about the day-to-day expenses.
It’s about making your own decisions about what’s important enough to spend a lot on and what’s not, rather than getting stuck in the never ending cycle of what everyone else tells you to do. The problem today is that not enough people decide what is important to them and what is not.
One fun way to see this is to ask yourself: If your employer paid you in something other than money, what would you want it to be?
Plane tickets? Sought-after sneakers? The latest tech gadgets?
Taking control is intimidating and liberating at the same time. It allows us to say, “Hey, this is important to me — and that’s not.”
The beauty is that once you have mapped out your priorities, you can turn these up and zoom in on what you love and managing your finances suddenly becomes pretty simple. Not only will we have more money and energy to spend on the things that bring us happiness, but we’ll be able to spend on those things guilt-free, since we know we’ve freed up the money by ignoring everything else.
It’s so easy to spot the people who use their money in a way that represents them, not just as a response to the market economy but also as an expression of who they are. They have a much more fulfilling experience of life and money.