Getting More Money in Your Budget...with a calculator & pen
If you're like me, you've seen that 2020 has thrown so many curve balls that all that we didn't know we needed to know is being shown to us.  Talk about 20/20 vision!  I don't know about you, but we've seen some areas in our financial wellness that this year showed us.  Consequently, we've made changes, and spurred on by a podcast I listened to yesterday, I wanted to share that with you.

I want to share a tip today that I pray blesses you so much and allows you to find some freedom in your budget!   Maybe you can use it to pay off some debt or celebrate in an affordable way.  I was listening to a favorite podcaster yesterday morning share how the pandemic this year has shown us where our blindsides are, where we can work to improve our situation, whether related to health, finances, relationships, work, or the ability to relax and reset.  He brought up a key point I believe will be helpful for everyone.

You are probably familiar with the idea of purging things.  Every New Year, it seems, the topic of Marie Kondo comes up, where you’re encouraged to go through every room and identify whether items hold value for you or not.  If they don’t, you’re encouraged to part with them, to make room for the new, or, ideally, to learn what you really need to live well.  
The podcasters today were discussing doing this with your budget.  The whole idea is that it’s easy to start with a scenario, then patch on thing after thing, subscription after subscription, service after service, to yield an untenable situation.  The result is a scenario where it’s hard to live with the resulting expenses.  We often don’t need all the subscriptions or expenses we have.

I wanted to bring it up because I’ve been talking about how to deal with the fallout from the pandemic.   My focus has largely been on mental and emotional health, so today I’ll talk about financial health.  You may know what I’m talking about!  

So, today we’ll discuss how you go through zero-based budgeting, what it is called where you build an entirely new budget, without considering ANY of your past scenarios, except for the obligations you currently have.  I’ll explain how you can do it and include some things you can do to approach your scenario cleanly and clearly.  

No doubt this year you’ve had to adjust, and no doubt you’re weary with such adjustments!  I get it.  I’ve had so many friends tell me how they don’t want to make one more accommodation or change one more thing this year.  We’re all tired and weary.  I totally get it!!!  

What would it look like if you had funds released to do other things?  What would it look like if you had more breathing room?  You would have more room to be nimble.  You’d be less caught off-guard by any other tragedy or emergency that might hit.  God forbid, I’m sure you’re like me and you don’t want to see that happen.  

Here’s how you can approach this wonderful yet daunting task.  Remember that when you’re done, you will experience FREEDOM.  
  1. Remember, we’re throwing out “old trash” that’s showing up in your expenses.
  2. Present the idea to your spouse or significant other.
  3. Be real about the costs and desired outcomes.
    1. This exercise could take as short as 30 minutes, to several days, depending on how aligned you and your spouse are, and on how emotionally connected to the outcome you are.
    2. Make a goal of shaving $x from your budget, especially if you are both extremely connected to the idea of reducing your budget.
  4. Set a time aside to go over your budget.  Honor that time.
  5. Reward yourselves with a nice dessert you could include the next time you purchase at the grocery store, or a fancy coffee you make at home.
Once you do that, you will be on the road to TRUE FREEDOM and flexibility, and better resilience when tragedy or emergency hits.

In my next blog post, I will teach you HOW to do a zero-based budget!

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Leave a comment letting me know, what do you have to add that I missed?


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