Eat Your Vegetables, Stick to Your Budget
I caught myself saying, “Eat your vegetables” to my kids the other day, and every time I’d heard that said to me flashed before my eyes. “Eat your vegetables” is the icon for all those slightly chiding sayings telling us that we have to do the things we don’t like to be better off in the end. I think its financial equivalent is “Stick to your budget”, a saying that has a similar ring of sucking all the fun out of a night out or a shopping trip.
But when it comes to eating vegetables, I know that plenty of them are very tasty and nine times out of ten it’s how you prepare them that makes all the difference. When I have a pile of freshly picked blanched peas in butter, I’m far more likely to gobble them down over a puddle of gray-green overly salty peas from a can. And I think when it comes to sticking to a budget, it’s all in how we prepare it and perceive it that can make it feel less like a cage and more like the key to financial freedom.
Sticking to your budget is all about giving yourself permission to have fun, without overindulging. Sticking to your budget means that you can have your night out or shopping trip and rest assured there will be no next day regrets. By sticking to your budget, you are prioritizing what gives you the greatest payoff while giving you license to actively ignore the things that do not.
When we stick to our budgets, we must weigh each decision based on what means the most to us. If I have to choose between having two smaller vacations or one big one, I have to ask myself the important question, “what do I value more?” To me that is the most powerful part of having a budget and sticking to it: I have to actively engage with the idea of what is most valuable to me.
By sticking to a budget and prioritizing value, you lead a less cluttered life physically, emotionally, and financially. So, the next time you hear, “stick to your budget” don’t take it as a scolding, but as a call to action. A call to action to find what brings you the most value, the most happiness, and strip away all the things that don’t. As we enter the holiday season, I think it’s the most powerful thing any of us can do.
If you’d like to talk with me about sticking to a budget, eating vegetables, or your finances more generally please contact me and in the meantime enjoy your holiday season and remember to stick to your budget!