Motivation: The Power of a Budget To Liberate and Enable You to Live Your Dreams
An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. --Benjamin Franklin
When it comes to goals and dreams, financing them is always half of the fun. As the new week begins, it always helps be reminded of our goals and visions. Sharpen the saw as Stephen Covey will say. Yours truly took the liberty of purchasing a new purse about two week ago, with the sole intention of taking my finances seriously. In the book, the Richest Man in Babylon, the authors clearly state the intention of blessing a lean purse, and then of course...taking the action to increase what's in that purse. Over the past few weeks, I've been discussing the concept of budgeting, and in my house tour, I'd even explained why I'd moved out of town for the eight months. It was actually practice for the future.
After having lived at home for a whole year as part of my rebuilding process and - and simply waking up going downstairs to eat food that was already in the pantry and fridge, it was time for a change. I committed to one year in the parental nest, and actually moved about two weeks after the intended date. The next step of rebuilding was becoming independent. I wanted to do this...in a manner that wouldn't hinder me from the mission that is to come in August. When leap was made, I discovered that it was the right path. I live in May Pen, which is about half an hour away from Kingston via the highway. Pricewise...as with any city to city outskirts comparison, I have managed to achieve my objective of saving money for the transition ahead. The following are a few budgeting tips that I have been using to guide me to a purpose:
1) Recording my expenses - Admittedly, life is simple but with either the advent of the excel spreadsheet or simple math and a flash card, I record my expenses for each week. After working for the semester, I have accumulated savings that I don't touch, but for the ten weeks that I have left in May Pen, I'm able to support myself via the consulting projects that I'm currently working on. With a weekly income and the weekly expenses noted, I take account of what my weekly expenses will be versus my income. I have a table that looks like this:
The relevant details are added of course. My business is small, but if yours is growing, it is always helpful to hire an accountant. In terms of details, you can always hire an accountant using your local listings, or take advantage of the skills of persons that are freelancers on sites such as Upwork.com. If you like to be hands on, then take the time to take advantage of Accounting software that can handle your books. Either way, in terms of organization, whatever gets measured gets managed, so having that assurance that you're controlling your finances is always a good idea.
2) Once you have your savings habit in place, set a target to save towards. I have a monthly savings target that I aim for each month. Fortunately for April, the target was set. Let us see if we can achieve a similar object for the subsequent months.
3) Treat yourself in the process of savings. Each week, one of the the steps that I take is to ensure that I purchase one treat for savings. In terms of the fact that I am aiming for a vacation in July (I shifted this due to Caribbean Fashion Week which is four weeks away), it helps to ensure that you are making progress as you are moving towards your target.
With these simple practices in place, you'll feel motivated to achieve your targets. Stay motivated to achieve your targets.
While working on achieving your objectives, it is always helpful to read widely. This can be both on your current theme, or just broadly enough to allow you to put your life into perspective.
This week, from the bookshelf, I managed to discover the book, This Is Your Time. While written several years ago, shortly after the US Columbine high school event, the themes remain relevant to this day.
The author is referencing the fact that we take various aspects of our daily lives for granted. While we are here complaining about whether or not our Starbucks coffee was made to our liking, other young lives were cut short.
So from that perspective, I am really enjoying the fact that I am able to live my dreams. And not only that...but I'm now more empowered to live more intentionally, since I am blessed enough to have access to the opportunities that I have been dreaming about. I'm sure we can all relate to this experience.
I'm not saying that we must become the world's number one giver to charity all of a sudden, it's just that when you realize how lucky you are to be breathing, you realise how trivial a lot of the challenges that you've been facing actually are. There's a pettiness that comes with affluence, and I've definitely experienced this from my vantage point, but as I go through the process of rebuilding, the process has humbled in ways un-imaginable.
I know that in a few months when I return to my academic and professional duties, there'll be a renewed sense of purpose which I can even start to rekindle from now.
1) What actions are you going to take today to ensure that you're achieving your saving or investment targets? Are you going to organize your office and ensure that all your income and expenses are validated? Are you going to separate your needs and your wants?
2) How can you act with passion in your life, knowing that at least 1.2 billion people don't have the life you're living at this point in time? Are you going to take better care of your health? Are you going to ignore your critics, and live the life you've always dreamed of in spite of appearances? Are you going to practice more gratitude? Are you going to take better care of your spouse?
These are all choices that we have in life. Happiness is a choice! Only you know your potential...so ensure you fulfill!!! Act NOW!!!