This is the first part of our five part series following MindShift.money member Wendy Priester as she goes through Financially Fit Bootcamp.
The word “budget” tends to make people break out in hives. I should know, I’m one of them.
For me, a budget meant something that was incredibly restrictive. I grew up using a cash- based money management system that relied on envelopes to separate your cash. Which meant you had to have a separate envelope for each item or category you wanted to spend money on.
I felt like I was constantly micromanaging over 20 different categories. It was exhausting, not to mention confusing, and meant extra trips to the bank to get the right denominations of cash for each envelope.
Now, I’m sure the envelope system works for some people, but not for me.
I always felt guilty spending any kind of money, even if it was an area I had planned to spend on. I felt a constant sense of anxiety whenever I went shopping. I worried that I would run out of money in each envelope. If I did, I felt so ashamed I hadn’t managed things properly.
I lived in constant fear and shame around my money. I began to resent my budget; it only made me feel terrible about myself and reminded me how I had failed. It seemed so easy for everyone else!
So, I gave up.
I stopped trying to follow a budget. It never worked anyway, as I usually went over in one or more areas. Anytime I tried to stick to it and couldn’t, I took it as proof that I was hopeless.
What I was doing wasn’t working, but I didn’t know how else to fix it.
Also, I have a Master’s degree in Accounting. I told myself I was a failure because I, more than anyone, should already have money figured out.
Budgets Don’t Work
My life changed when I was introduced to Dr. Tony and MindShift.money.
I remember thinking, “Wait a moment. There’s a different way to do this? There’s a way to make my money work for me while I also enjoy my life now?
When I worked through Module One of Financially Fit Bootcamp, I found myself agreeing with Dr. Tony when he explained budgets don’t work.
They don’t. At all.
But when I opened the Money Planner to put in my numbers, I had a moment of panic.
It looked like a budget! I thought we weren’t doing budgets!
But, as I started to work through it, I realized it wasn’t a budget at all.
It was simply a guide, or a map if you will, showing me how money flowed through my bank account.
Wendy Priester is a former Tax Auditor turned freelance writer and certified Financially Fit Bootcamp Coach. When not working with clients to help them live their best financial life, Wendy can be found exploring the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with her two hyperactive dachshunds.