The other day I looked at a printed copy of my budget and I had a bit of an epiphany. By allocating money into categories, I certainly organize my finances but I also reveal a lot about myself. Here’s what I learned by revisiting my budget recently.
5 Things My Budget Taught Me
I Value Saving for the Future
When my husband was out of work, the first thing that had to be paused was our RESP and RRSP contributions. Since he has found a new job these categories will also be the first to be reinstated. It is important to me to save for my boys’ education. We started with just a little bit every month when our firstborn was a baby. Now that he is 13, I am so thankful for those early contributions that have gradually added up. And saving for our own future is important too.
I Do Not Highly Value Transportation
For many years, the line item <Car Payment> in our budget has been at $0.00. This reflects a few truths. We do not value have a fancy set of wheels to get us from Point A to B, so we are not willing to spend $40,000 or even $50,000 on a high-end minivan. We also despise car payments so we have worked hard to pay cash for our second-hand vehicles. Since our monthly budget is a bit tight, I do not want a large car payment to be coming out every month.
I Value Spending Money on my Kids
I have a healthy amount set aside each month to spend on the kids. Between field trips, birthday parties, shoes and clothing, there isn’t always too much discretionary money left. But when there is, I love spending it on frugal family fun ideas or getting them little surprises.
I Do Not Value Vacations
What? Is that really true? Our budget does not have a section for holidays, so what does that reveal? First, we are blessed to be able to take low-budget family vacations at my parents’ trailer. But we have never gone away as a family on an airplane, much to our children’s dismay. I think it feels overwhelming to think about spending several thousands of dollars to fly the 6 of us anywhere. But if I decide that taking at least one big trip as a family is important, I should add this into my budget and get saving…
I Know Myself Well
I have learned that I will not spend money on myself unless I have a line item called Fun Money. Of course the amount fluctuates depending on our financial situation, but there is always an amount for me to spend however I choose.
I suppose the first assumption of this post is that you have a budget to reflect upon. If you don’t – look over these suggestions to get you started. And as you allocate amounts into your categories, be mindful of what your budget reveals about you.
What does your budget reveal about you?
By: Karen Gauvreau