What I’ll never stop saying
by Angie Carlson |
I’ll say this again and again: Budgets alone are not responsible for your shared financial progress.
In my experience, budgets are one of the main reasons couples who decide to start working with me spend less time together and/or stop talking about money.
The frustration felt after hours are spent putting the perfect one together… just to have that unexpected expense – on the 26th of the month -ruin it.
Seeing all of this extra money at the first of the month just to be barely positive (or negative) on the last day. Where in the world did it all go?
Having that feeling of something just doesn’t feel right – and not having the words to tell your spouse what it is – casts doubt in not only the budget process, but in your shared ability to see financial progress.
Every time they walk one step forward it feels like something happens to push them five steps backward.
So they quit altogether.
And that makes sense.
Time is a valuable resource!
Of course neither of you want to spend it on an activity that causes frustration.
Here’s the thing – financial progress is not the result of a budget that kicks some a$$ (or peach emoji)
Financial progress is based on how we define progress.
And that progress looks different in each season.
Found out you’re having a child? (congratulations!) It’s OK that you didn’t reach your debt payoff goal for the year – or pay down any debt at all – your main priority shifted for a season – having everyone home and healthy.
Unexpected job layoff? First, drop the guilt – it’s not your fault – and be proud of yourself when you find that new job with more pay – it allows your severance to become an unexpected bonus that blows your financial goal for the year out of the water. Your budget had no way to tell you this was coming.
You see, the role of a budget is planning and tracking the income and expenses you know about the first day of the month.
And just one tool to measure progress – not the only tool.
I know this to be true.
Because my spouse and I experienced ups and downs on our financial journey.
We had a 26 month period that contained nearly $50K in unexpected expenses.
And while we cash flowed them all – it’s not what we wanted to do with the cash.
We have also received unexpected financial blessings that accelerated our financial progress – to the point we paid off our mortgage 9 years earlier than we planned. (Thank God we didn’t rely on our budget to see this.)
My clients have experienced financial progress that is beyond the budget.
One couple found $1,000 a month – because we reviewed their entire situation and found a place outside of the budget that could be changed.
Another couple was behind on their car in our first session – and then paid off over $35K in debt in under 4 months.
A third couple started by focusing on their conversations and habits that were holding them back – and now throw at least $500 a month consistently to their debt snowball.
Because when you look at the budget alone, you’ll only see the results a budget can provide.
And miss so many options that could move you forward faster than you ever dreamed.
Angie Carlson – Carlson Financial Coaching
I help couples that struggle to communicate about money go from overwhelmed to heard and respected so that they can live out their ideal, shared future without financial stress. The first step on that journey is to introduce yourself to me here: https://calendly.com/carlsonfinancialcoaching/15min