The Imprisoning Budget
Ryan hates to budget: "I have high income, why should I restrict my desires? I prefer to spend freely." And restrict is exactly what happens when we budget our money, right? Say Ryan wants to take his wife to dinner tonight but there's nothing left in the budget for eating out. Curse you imprisoning budget! Curse you imprisoning budget! Curse you imprisoning budget! But there's more to Ryan than his wanting to delightfully dine his wife and spend freely. Get to know him and you'll soon learn he's frustrated by the lack of innovation at his company, he dreams of ridding himself of his hefty mortgage payment and he has a passion for the homeless. But Ryan's not free to leave his company and start his own business. He's not free to pay off his mortgage early, and he's not free to make a hefty donation to Habitat for Humanity. Why isn't he free to do these things? Not enough money. The only way for Ryan to free himself to pay off his mortgage early is to restrict his spending in the short term. Not budgeting may allow Ryan guilt-free short-term indulgences but it's actually shackling him, keeping him from his greatest passions. For Ryan, a budget is his path for marrying his long-term dreams to his short term spending. As Stephen Covey says, “it's easy to say no when there's a deeper yes burning within.” So what about you? Will you cast a big vision and give yourself a reason to make short-term sacrifices? I hope you'll allow your budget to be the liberating force it can be for you and your family. These chains are heavy, get rid of them.