Budget. When we hear it, we may often cringe, thinking of all of the things we can’t do, or the common excuse managers give when they tell us no to our request for additional help. We’ve all likely experienced a no or two in life based on someone else’s budget.
Budgeting, however, is a personal skill we need to develop to have the character to succeed as individuals. Why? Because, to get right to the point, we live amongst all of the richest this world has to offer, and the richer our world gets, the more critical it is for us to budget our way to success.
Let me explain. Most of us don’t start off in Bill Gates’ current shoes with billions of dollars at our fingertips. We start with a few hundred dollars. When we have that few hundred extra dollars, what do we do? Most of us fall prey to the riches around us, and purchase one or two of the riches the world has to offer. Maybe we spend the money on eating out that month, maybe we buy a new tablet, phone, or speaker, or maybe we spend it on 20 new ebooks on how to be successful.
Besides money, we all have time allotted to us as well. When we have an hour of free time, how do we spend it? Do we quickly get sucked into the realm of social media, Netflix, or cute puppy videos on YouTube with the hour passing away unnoticed?
To be successful, we have to be willing to build our lives, character, skills, and assets. Not all of us will own billion-dollar corporations. All of us, however, can significantly improve our lives from where we are at right now.
It takes budgeting though. We have to have the ability to cut through the demands on our money and time to choose to invest our time and money in something that will lead to an improved, successful life. If we start out each week or month with a fixed budget that we live by, we will gain the capacity to forego wasting time and money on the things that don’t matter and don’t contribute to our success.
Budgeting lets us develop the strength to say no to things that keep us from success. When we’re surrounded by millions of items to purchase on Amazon and billions of web pages to visit on the Internet, we will give in, time and time again, until we create and stick to a personal budget. When we allow it, the riches of the world creep in, like ants, and rob us of our time and resources, one dollar and hour at a time.
Consider the individuals who set a weekly food and time budget. When making food selections in any given week, the individuals will forego tasty options that arise to stick to the set food budget. These individuals will gain the self-control necessary to say no to tasty food, meaning they will be more in control of their desires, appetites, and physical passions. If these same individuals budgeted one hour of time on social media that week and stuck to it, these individuals would be more in control and selective about what they view and see, giving them more control over their mind, desires, and self.
By gaining the ability to say no, these individuals gain the ability to put their resources, whether it be time, money, or something else, into the most productive area of their lives. They can rise above the allure and pull of all capitalism offers and all of its ways to waste a dollar or hour, to invest in themselves, the most important asset of all.
Of course, to be truly successful with budgeting, you must set goals of something else you want to accomplish. If you budget your time on social media and Netflix, but then find yourself sitting at home with nothing to do, the budget won’t be too successful for you. When you start budgeting, pick something important to you and pursue it. Learn to play the piano. Write a book. Have someone over for dinner. Build a treehouse. Remodel your bathroom. Read that ebook you purchased years ago. Just start with a goal and do it.
As you gain the capacity to say no to other things to pursue your set goal, you will quickly develop the character to accomplish things, good things, and your ability to pursue bigger and more meaningful goals will develop, one ‘no’ at a time. You will, before too long, find yourself with increased skills, increased confidence, and increased ability to be more successful.
When I was eighteen, I made a decision that has greatly impacted my life. I made the decision to always have something better to do with my time than watch TV. Since then, TV has fallen completely out of my life. I don’t even own one. Because of that decision, I’ve always had to have something else to work on when I felt like watching TV. As I’ve pursued various goals, my skills and abilities have improved, and I’ve been much happier seeing the things I’ve created. I don’t miss TV at all.
My investment in budgeting time has lead me to marrying my great wife and becoming a father to six beautiful children. It has lead me to opening my own law firm, to writing a book, to developing meaningful relationships with neighbors and associates. My law firm isn’t known on Wall Street, my book isn’t among the bestsellers of the world, and my children aren’t child prodigies. However, my life is good, and I find happiness in working and creating.
You will too. Happiness doesn’t come through what we possess but through creating good things, developing meaningful relationships, and investing in our individual progression. We all have the power to create and contribute, but we only have the resources to create something if we first learn to say no to spending our money and time on things we don’t need.
Budgeting, with good goals, is how we achieve personal success. Value a budget as our way to review and recognize the things we need, versus the things we waste. By learning to cut out the waste, we will progress and achieve our potential and have success in our personal lives.
Start today. The budgeting journey will take you to places you have always wanted to be.