I don’t create budgets. Not a day goes by that I don’t get asked to create a budget for a client, and my response is the same every time. Budgets are helpful, but they are not often adhered to. Whether it be unexpected expenses that arise or we find ways to rationalize our purchases, there is some reason why we go over the budget. Meaningful conversations with clients about their spending habits and routines is much more effective.
Money isn’t emotional, but our lives are! Diving deeper into the budget conversation often brings up emotional topics. When clients describe why they made certain financial choices it is usually linked to an emotional event. Some of us go to the grocery store four or five times a week because we are too busy to make a list for one big shopping trip. Maybe we overspend on beauty products or services because we are trying to undo the damage stress has caused. We also spend money on vitamins and supplements in the hopes of finding the magic cure to help us feel happy and energetic again.
Why can’t I find a quick fix? I have done all of these things and you might have too. I was trying to find something that would make life easier. I never regretted having children, but I really struggled through the days when work life and home life were too much to manage. When I finally turned to family and a good therapist for help, I stopped spending so much money on quick fixes. If someone had created a budget for me I never would have stuck to it. I needed to change my mindset.
I coach clients every day to change their routines and their mindset. That way, if we do create a budget, it is used as a guideline for mindful spending. If this approach sounds interesting to you, contact me for more information.