Throw the budget out the window – they don’t work. Budgets are too restrictive, they take too much time, and they usually just tell you what you have done wrong. In the USA less than ten per cent of people have a written budget, in Australia that figure is less than five per cent and of those, even less actually stick to them.
Instead of thinking about a budget, a better way to look at it is to plan your spending around priorities. Plan to spend on high priorities and stop spending on low priorities. This is one of the most simple yet powerful ways to achieve more with the money you earn. Everyone runs their lives according to their own set of priorities which determine where you put your time, energy and money.
When you spend money on what is most important to you, you will get a high level of satisfaction. When you spend money on things that are not a high priority, you get little long term satisfaction and a feeling that you may have wasted your money.
This is a key reason why impulse buying and shopping to “make you feel better”, rarely lead to a feeling that you have made a good purchase. You just get left with something that you didn’t really need or some extra weight to lose and a debt on your credit card that you need to somehow pay. The real kick in the pants is that you then may not have the money there for what you really needed and wanted.
Understanding your own personal sets of priorities, which can also be called your “hierarchy of values” is absolutely critical to making wise spending choices and your financial future. There are two reasons for this.
The first is that when you understand what is high on your list of priorities, you know where to spend your time, energy or to give you satisfaction. When you spend on what is absolutely the highest on your priorities, you will get maximum satisfaction. Once you know your own order, you can make the conscious decision to stop spending on low priorities and this automatically frees up more money for high priorities.
The second reason is that our priorities determine our financial destiny. What we mean is that if you have a whole list of things which are more important for you than saving and investing for your future, you will never have money left to save and invest. Once you understand your personal hierarchy of values, you will see where saving and investing sits. If you have always struggled to save, that will be because saving is low down or may not appear at all. If you have been a successful saver and investor, it will be high on your list.
The great thing about our hierarchy of values or priorities is that they are not fixed. They change automatically as we mature and we have the capacity to change them ourselves. If you are struggling with debt, cashflow and savings it is likely that you have a hierarchy of values that needs rearranging. Whatever your income level you will continue to struggle. If you have big financial goals that just aren’t happening, don’t surrender your goals, change your values to support your goals.
The Acorn Life Plan™ puts the focus on your hierarchy of values and your goals to get them aligned and supporting personal and financial growth.
If you want to hear about how to work out your own hierarchy of values and how you can use the knowledge to get out of debt and have strong finances without having a budget then give Acorn a call today on 1300 30 90 12 for a no obligation chat (i.e. it won’t cost you a cent). Go on, pick up the phone today, stop procrastinating. What do you have to lose (apart from spending more money on low value or low priority items)?
You are probably reading this because money is interesting for you and perhaps you need some strategies or tips to save or ‘raise’ more money and you want an excuse to throw the budget out the window. So how else are you going to get this help? Call Ruth @ Acorn now on 1300 30 90 12. If not now, when?