Are you the type of person who creates a budget plan and sticks to it no matter what happens? The moment you can’t follow your plan and go beyond what you have set, you immediately panic and hit yourself in the head for not remaining faithful to it. You are not alone. Most people tend to be very conservative especially when dealing with their finances considering how difficult life is today. Your attitude is understandable.
There is one thing that you should always remember though- money come and go, and come back again. Even if you have lost money now because you bought something you just can’t resist, you can still earn that money back. Just take a look at the budget plan that you have made. For instance, if you plan to spend only $150 for food this week, you usually end up going slightly beyond. What would you do if you have spent $5 more? Would you get angry because you spent the money, or will you offset it by spending less on other expenses? Of course, the latter is the more understandable option.
The real loss
You might think that being extremely strict with your spending is a good thing since you are not losing anything. The truth is that you do. Imagine how much anger and blame you have placed on yourself just because you have bought a new pair of shoes that you didn’t plan to. Look at how bad your day has become simply because you have paid more for the cab driver who has decided to take a different route. Instead of appreciating the small details in life, you end up hating everything. You are so obsessed with your budget plan that you have forgotten what the most important things in life really are.
Being too stiff in your budget plan might have worked well for you. If it does, then it is great. You are not discouraged from doing what you believe works for you. It is important to note though that ultimately, life is filled with choices. You don’t have to put yourself in the cage or limit your movements just because you have a budget plan. Take note that the most memorable things in life are those that you have done spontaneously.
You might be happy that you didn’t join your friends on a trip as you didn’t overspend for the week, but you have missed an opportunity to bond with them. You might feel great that you didn’t spend money on a gift for your friend whose birthday you just remembered, but still refused to buy because it was not on the budget. This has affected your friendship in a way though. Great things in life usually come for a price. If you wish to explore the world, you have to spend more than what you have intended. If you wish to satisfy your curiosity, you need to go out of your way just to dine in a new fancy restaurant that was not in your budget.
Just work harder
Spending a lot now means that you have gone beyond the plan. It is not the end of everything though. It means that you can work harder so that next time, you will recover what you have lost. You can make sacrifices here and there and cut some of the expenses for the following weeks. You will soon feel that you have not even lost money to begin with since it came back to your account eventually. Again, money comes and goes, but not all opportunities do.
Featured and 1st image by Lotus Head from Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa (sxc.hu) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
2nd image by The original uploader was Verwüstung at German Wikipedia (Selbst digitalisiert) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons