“It’s not hard to make decisions when you have clear values and intentions.”
When most people hear the word “budget,” they feel contracted, restricted, angry or other disempowering emotions such as guilt, shame, depression, etc. There is often a feeling that some outside force like a scolding parent is telling you what to do, or a fear of not having your needs and desires met if you have a budget.
Budgeting can be like dieting, where the restriction is an automatic cue to want what is not “allowed” on the diet. Suddenly, like craving what you are not supposed to eat on your diet, you will crave what you’re not supposed to spend.
Often times, the holiday season exacerbates any challenges you may have with both dieting and budgeting. Lots of people want to have boundaries with food and money during the holidays, but then go crazy with overeating and overspending, with plans to “get back on track” in the new year. If you had a similar experience this year, either during the holidays or any season, you are not alone!
When I first learned about budgeting, I would budget hundreds of millions of dollars for corporations, but when it came to creating and sticking to my own personal budget, I felt like I was being forced into a straight jacket. I spent an embarrassing amount of my income on dinners at trendy restaurants, the hottest styles of clothing, weekend getaways or longer, more adventurous travel.
After dealing with debt and hitting rock bottom, I finally discovered what was missing in my attempts to create budgets for myself:
A clear understanding of my values and intentions.
I finally realized that having integrity, clarity and accountability with myself were more valuable than looking fashionable or having adventures. And it was these higher values that really made me happy, fulfilled and at peace. It wasn’t until I discovered the values that supported my intentional budgeting that I was able to create and stick to a budget… and actually enjoy it!
This year, instead of approaching your 2013 budgets as a dreaded, hated experience of cutting out what makes you happy, consider yourself creating “maps of intention” that will help you to move towards where you wish to go in your life. Be open to having a fulfilling experience, knowing you are creating tools to make sure you are living in alignment with what’s important to you, with what makes you truly happy.
When you reframe your budget into a “map of intention,” you will need to identify your true intentions and know what values have the highest priority. Most of my financial coaching clients find this fun and feel relieved to clearly understand what is essential in their lives. When you do this, you can consciously align your financial allocations so you experience what you value and desire most.
For example, ask yourself: Is the value of fun and play higher than the value of living within your means?
Then evaluate: Do you value having money for the future, but then spend it on electronics or kids activities at the expense of saving?
If that has been your pattern, you can change it when you realize how at peace you feel when you know you are saving for the future.
When you learn to prioritize your values and intentions you will be able to create a budget that works.
To help you get started, select your three highest values from this list:
Photo: 401(K) 2013
Keep these at the forefront when you do your “maps of intention” and budgets for 2013. Consider them the foundations upon which you lay building blocks toward the life you desire.
Then for each of your three values create an intention. For example: I intend to spend my money in alignment with sustainability, spending less money on groceries by having a garden.
May 2013 be a year of feeling the deep peace and joy of making conscious choices to cultivate what truly fulfills you.
Joetta Marie Johnson is the Priestess of Finance. She partners with her clients to create extraordinary experiences of success with money. Joetta is a practical and gifted intuitive coach who helps budding entrepreneurs overcome limiting beliefs and patterns with business, money and success. She has extensive education and experience in personal and entrepreneurial finance as an auditor, controller and financial analyst. She offers individualized coaching packages in person in Boulder, Co, or via Skype and telephone. In addition, she also offers group financial programs via webinars and tele-seminars, as well as many other projects designed to help clients attain money mastery.
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Ed: Brianna Bemel
Assist. Ed: Elysha Anderson