Wife needed some clothes. She was long overdue and I trust her judgment. So we budgeted $100 that month for clothes, even though she didn’t find anything. She looked off and on for another two months, until one day when she was about to spend $300 on clothing she just found.
Gasp. Time to clutch my chest and feel the agony of spending money. And such a big amount!
At least, that’s how everything went early in our marriage. Wife would say we needed to make a purchase and I — not knowing enough of our finances to be very involved — would go into panic lock-down mode.
This time, though, it was peaceful.
Pause for a moment and imagine something. Imagine you start making drastically better decisions with money. You still spend money, but with different amounts on different things. And the success of those decisions is obvious. That’s a nice idea, Andrew, but how do I get there?
Well, you almost definitely started paying for things in full, up front.
Here’s how I got there from here.
Financing is a great way to get what you want right now. Without waiting to save up anything at all! And making payments is pretty much a forced savings plan — only it comes after instead of before… Right?
Eh, not really at all.
You are thinking about getting a new motorcycle. You walk into the dealership and find something you really like. Your buddy has one and you want it bad. So you “sweet talk” the dealer into getting you the financing terms you want and come back home with a different bike.
And now you’re locked into payments until long after your temporary happyness fades.
Take a moment to think big. Not just big — huge! This is your chance to dream of what you could and would do with an unthinkable sum of money in the bank. Work is optional, and you are free to do what you are most passionate about. Take a few moments and imagine what you would do.
What would you do with your time? Would you work doing what you love? Would you travel? Would you buy some nice stuff? Would you move? Would you give away to good causes? Would you invest it and make it grow?
You need to think about it. You need to get excited about what you would do with money. Here’s why.
Wife asked me, “When are you going to spend the money we saved up for the motorcycle? We now have four hundred dollars set aside. The motorcycle needs repairs and upgrades. We’ve budgeted for it. Now go buy what you need already!”
What an excellent problem to have!
You may have noticed how the strongest people suddenly buckle at the knees at the mention of one word. To them, this word means no more fun, a bunch of rules, and prison.
What is the word? Budget.