Budgets and Financial Plans Are About Balance, Not Sacrifice

Having a good budget and financial plan does not mean giving up everything important for you today to plan for later. Often when I have discussed budgeting with people, they have indicated they don't want to budget because they don't want to give up many of the things they value now for an uncertain future. A good budget, by which I mean a budget you will be committed to and brings you toward your goals, does not require you to give those things up that you value most. A good budget offers a tool to help you balance your present financial self and your future financial self.

If you have put together a budget that takes into account your values and your goals, you are already on the path to achieving this balance. The way you have built the budget will force you to prioritize what you value more. Do you prefer to have every television station possible available to you now, or would you prefer to purchase a new, fancy car in five years? You get to make that decision when you establish your budget. The budget itself does not judge your spending, it only forces you to decide what you value more.

A financial plan provides the exact same mechanism. A financial plan does not judge your decisions, although your financial planner may do so. A financial plan provides a tool to help you decide whether you value a current expense more or less than a future expense. It's your choice to decide which to pursue.

Budgets and financial plans help you create balance between the present and the future. They offer tools to help you prioritize what financial goals you value most. Don't buy the misconception that a budget or financial plan is about giving up what you value today. Budgeting and financial planning are about balancing today and tomorrow.


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