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Why I'm Nuts About Budgeting

So in case you haven't noticed, I've been writing a lot about money and budgeting lately.

You may be wondering…why?

It's not that money's gotten tight.

It's not that I've fallen into some Dave Ramsey-Suze Orman-David Bach rabbit hole.

It's not that I've abandoned all semblance of a social life and decided to just hang out with my bank account on Saturday nights.

It's just that when I think about one of the most profound experiences of my life, I first think about my time at UCLA film school getting into all of that debt by pursuing a screenwriting MFA (those three years were a creative euphoria).

I then think about the pain it took get out of that debt ($80K) in under three years on an assistant-and-tutor's salary.

It's that second experience that really gets me.

Because budgeting isn't so much about the money itself as it is a reflection of what's going on in your life and how you're managing it (or not).

In other words, money is only providing data points.

That's it.

It's providing insight into who you are.

More specifically, viewing money through the lens of a budget does other things as well, namely:

It does other things as well. Here's a short list.

  1. In an uncontrollable world, a budget gives you control. A budget serves as a numerical rough draft of how you're going to live your life. In very broad strokes, you decide how you're going to spend your time (and your dollars) based on past behavior and circumstances. Sure, life may give you surprises (like a pandemic), but you have a rough plan.

  2. A budget gives you boundaries (and freedom). Oftentimes, in the coaching world, I hear women discuss the need to develop firmer boundaries. I get that. It can be hard to say no to things when you’ve been conditioned to people-please (and I should know. ; )). But again, if you lay out in advance what you want to do (and what you intend to spend), it becomes easier to say “no” to less-than-stellar plans. “No” can set you free.

  3. A budget shows you your values. If you spend more food dollars at Whole Foods than at Ralph’s, that’s a sign that you value health and healthy eating. Likewise, if you find yourself spending money on family trips, get-togethers, etc., then you value connection and family. Neither is right nor wrong! Money tells a story about you; the budget is another opportunity to get to know yourself better.

  4. A budget gives you absolute clarity. When you have that clarity about your earning and spending habits, you have less stress and overwhelm and more internal peace. You officially know what you need to survive, and you have your own back.

I anticipate pivoting more of my content towards the joys of budgeting (and yes, you read that right) because I see budgeting as an incredible self-development tool, an exercise in clarifying goals and taking action.

Because I believe when female creatives do those two things, the confidence gap they have (both with and without money) disappears.

More to come...

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