My wife and I spend about 20 minutes at the end of each month setting and reviewing our budget for the following month. This is an exercise we have been doing for nearly 6 years now, and it’s an important part of how we operate our lives.
We do the budget not so we can fret over every dollar that we spend. We do it because we have aspirations to build a certain life for ourselves. And the budget allows us to prioritize what’s important to us.
This concept is true in nearly every area of finite resource in our lives: money, relationships, time – by allocating your resources you can do just about anything, but you can’t do everything.
By definition, a finite resource can only be utilized a limited number of times. Our personal resources are no different. Being intentional about how you utilize your resources means you can focus on what’s important.
Choosing What’s Important
My wife and I have chosen our priorities when it comes to our finances. Starting a family while we were still young and creating financial security are the two biggest. These are our “do anythings”.
There are a bunch of other things I also want, and we have the money to spend on… such as new furniture, new clothes, fancy vacations, home improvements, etc. But spending money on those things would mean less money going towards our real priorities like building financial independence or paying expenses for our family.
So as we sit down and allocate our money, we are actively choosing how to fund a few core areas of our life, at the expense of not trying to do everything.
While it can be difficult to have to say “no” to everything we technically can afford, we know that building the life we want is worth the sacrifice.
How To Do Anything
Pause to consider your limited resources in life: time, energy, money.
How are you using them? Are you living the life you want? Whether that means international travel, starting your own business, becoming financially independent, improving your fitness, writing a blog, etc,.
Consider what changes you can make in your life to do more of what’s important to you.
- Know Your “Anythings” – You need to determine your own priorities in life. What are the areas that you are going to focus on? What are your “Anythings?” If you don’t know already, it’s time to do some soul-searching.
- Make Sacrifices – You have to sacrifice some wants to get what you need. Unfortunately, self-control, telling ourselves “no”, is currently counter-culture. Make the tough choices now so you can live a better life later.
- Allocate Your Resources – Whether it’s your financial budget, or your daily calendar, allocate your resources so that the things that are most important are prioritized.
- Embrace Simple Living – The act of simplifying your life will enable you to be more effective. The simple living practices that I share often (understanding control, reducing needs, intentional living), all circle back to creating a life that is meaningful to you.