Ok, I know what you are thinking. What is a spending plan? It is a term I use instead of saying budget. I don’t love the word budget as it feels kinda icky to me. It feels like a term I used to use when I tried to get my money figured out and I always failed at it. If you love the word budget, please use it! I want you to use the term that works best for you.
Term’s like, “it’s not in my budget”, “just did my budget and I won’t have any money this month”, “we can’t afford that, it’s not in the budget” were things I sometimes heard growing up and even said myself as an adult.
I like to refer to it as a spending plan because my thinking has turned around to “I get to CHOOSE what I spend my money on”, as opposed to “My budget is so depressing, I have to spend too much money”. Sometimes the difference in how we perceive things can make such a HUGE difference.
First and foremost, though, I know that how much we pay out each month can be really hard. It can be something that really does add stress to our lives. Believe me, I am not wanting to downplay how hard it can be to make ends meet every month. We live in an expensive world and the systems that are in place for employment, unemployment etc. are unfair. I see you and hold space for you and all of these feelings. I want to honour that.
When I first started my Financial Recovery℠ I was so angry about money. There were so many layers to work through to even get to a place on where I could think of money differently. Maybe thinking of it as a spending plan will help support you this? Or maybe it will just help you to organize what expenses and income you have every month?
HERE is a blank template I have for you to start your spending plan.
I invite you to log into your online banking and have a look at statements for the past three months on how you spent your money. If you use credit cards make sure you also get those statements. This will give you an overview of what you spend money on. Please keep in mind that this activity of pulling your statement and actually looking at your money is HUGE! Make sure you celebrate that!
Here are some categories that could be included in your spending plan:
This a large list but gives you an idea of what kind of expenses to keep your eye out for ways that you will CHOOSE how to spend your money.
I like to make a spending plan every month individually and not always have the same expenses every month. Sometimes we have special occasions in a month (ex fathers day) and we want to make sure that we are planning for this so that we don’t overspend.
You will have fixed expenses that don’t change a lot every month but your discretionary spending (groceries, gifts etc.) could change so every month you get to CHOOSE what you want to take part in and PLAN for it.
Think of a spending plan as our map and then think of tracking our spending as seeing where we are on the map. For example, you have $800 a month allotted in your spending plan for groceries. Tracking how much you are spending on groceries will make sure you know how much you can spend and it will help support you in CHOOSING what you can spend.
Money needs us to be specific on what we are going to spend it on. If we just guess and hope it all works out, we can often overspend.
I hope today you CHOOSE to make a spending plan!
All the money love sent your way,
I made a podcast episode just to talk about a spending plan! Listen to it right here: