“A budget is telling your money where to go, instead of wondering where it went.” John Maxwell
Budgeting for Badasses – This is one of my favorite quotes of all time. I love inspiring quotes, so I don’t say that lightly. It frustrates me when I hear women whine about not having enough money. We all have the power to change our money story. But we must choose to do the work it takes to make those changes.
Becoming a badass means owning your shit and conquering your fears so you can take charge of your money and command the control you need to get ahead. That’s what this quote means to me. Don’t sit back and complain about a situation without doing what needs to be done to change it.
Maybe that sounds harsh, and I’m sorry if it feels that way. The reality is we have more power than we believe we have to take charge of our destiny and move our dreams into reality.
When it comes to money it comes down to two very basic tenets.
If you spend more than you make, you will never get ahead. However, if you spend less than you earn, you can turn the tide. You can move your life in a different direction.
Now I know that if you are in a financially abusive relationship this can be difficult, if not impossible. I’m hoping you realize you cannot control your financial success if you are with someone perpetrating financial abuse on you. Hopefully you have either decided to leave or you have already left and are working on your recovery.
That said, I am going to assume you are ready to hear this. Please take it to heart and implement changes in your life in the best way for you.
Being a budgeting badass means that you are not afraid to take a close look at your earning and spending.
It means that you are ready to kick some serious ass and make the necessary changes to reach your goals.
It’s not always fun, but making smart choices will make the difference. You will be able to take charge of your money if you are willing to follow a budget.
Basically, a budget is a road map. You’re laying out your course of action. You’re saying, “I want to get to here, and I’m going to get there by doing this.”
You get to decide where you’re going and what it will take to get there based on your decision about those two pieces.
First is your INCOME.
If this is a fixed number and it’s enough then you don’t need to change anything. However, if you don’t feel like you’re earning what you’re worth or what you need to live the life you want, then you may need to address this side of things. That could mean asking for a raise, going after a promotion, changing jobs or careers, or raising your prices if you’re self-employed. How you address this depends on your situation.
Second is your EXPENSES.
Generally, you have more control over this side, but if your income is limited then making it all work and still having enough to move your dreams forward can be challenging. That’s why you have to address both sides.
When it comes to expenses, I recommend you divide them into needs and wants. As you think about needs it’s easy to think the cost can’t be controlled, but that’s not entirely true. For example, if your car payment is 50% of your income, it’s going to be near impossible to live on the difference. And, even though a car may be a need, not a want, depending on your situation, it doesn’t have to eat up most of your budget. Trading in your car for a less expensive model might be a way to trim the cost of your needs.
Wants are not always fun to trim, but you generally can and, if things are not lining up, you’ll need to do so. What I remind myself when I have to cut out some of the fun stuff is: 1) it’s not going to be forever, and 2) I can make the sacrifice if it’s going to help me get the big picture in line with my vision. I was thinking recently of how just after I’d left my husband, I had to really trim my spending, and indulging in even the smallest purchase on a whim wasn’t a good idea. I kept telling myself my time would come. And it has. Now, if I see a cute decorative item for the house that I want, I feel free to indulge. However, I still plan my large expenses to be sure I have the money before I spend it.
Accumulating enough to make large purchases is part of the payoff of living within your means.
If your dream is to buy a new car or a house, you will only get there if you set aside money to build up the down payment needed. To do that, you need to set up your budget to include savings. Again, you have the power to make the decisions that will take you where you want to go. If it is important enough to you, then the short-term sacrifice should be doable to end up with the long-term gain.
Telling your money where you want it to go is being a badass at budgeting. Don’t be caught wondering where all your money went and why you aren’t accomplishing your dreams. Take control of your money by setting up a realistic budget and sticking to it. Your dreams are important; put a priority on them and do what you can to accomplish them.
Sherry Lutz Herrington is the owner of Sherrington Financial Fitness, a business consulting and accounting firm specializing in strategic business planning and solid financial accounting for businesses. She is also the author of Strong Women Thriving (https://strongwomenthriving.com/), a blog which focuses on empowering women to be financially savvy, particularly after experiencing financial abuse. Sherry is currently writing a new book that both shares her personal story and addresses financial abuse. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Join our FB group https://www.facebook.com/groups/womensurivingfinancialabuse