“My only money problem is I don’t have enough of it! “ Oh, if I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say that…well, then maybe I wouldn’t have any money problems!
So, how much is enough? If your personal money fairy started raining cash down on you from her fairy blimp, when would you say, “Hey, thanks money fairy, I’m good now.” What about $45 million? Would that be enough? It wasn’t enough for NFL player Vince Young who filed for bankruptcy in early 2014. What about $400 million? It wasn’t enough for Mike Tyson who filed for bankruptcy in 2003. And they are not alone…78% of NFL players and 60% of NBA players file for bankruptcy within five years of retirement. And lottery winners? 55% go bankrupt.
So does that mean having crazy amounts of money is a bad thing? Absolutely not! It just means to win with money we have to look at both sides of the money equation – the inflow and the outflow. All those bankrupt athletes and lottery winners thought their millions of dollars (input) was enough to spend it (outflow) anyway they wanted. They remind me of Dave Ramsey’s saying “you can’t out earn stupidity”.
You and I might not have millions and maybe we never will, but we can have “enough” – enough to meet our needs and a whole bunch of our wants, enough to give generously, enough for today and for the future. But it starts with having a plan for the outflow side of the equation – also known as a written budget.
Oh, no, did she just the say the “B” word? Does the thought of doing a budget make you cringe? Afraid of what you’ll find if you examine your spending habits too closely? Don’t want a budget telling you “no, don’t buy those shoes” or “sorry, you’ve eaten out too many times this month?” A budget doesn’t have to be scary. John Maxwell says, “A budget is simply telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” Think our bankrupt millionaires could have used that advice? For me, once I learned how to do a written budget, it was actually quite freeing, not scary at all. I knew I could buy those shoes without messing up next month’s vacation plans. I knew if an emergency came along, we had money set aside in the budget to handle it.
And don’t think the income side of the money equation isn’t important too. It is. I want you to make more money. I want you to make crazy money. But I want you to be prepared to handle that crazy money when it comes instead of it handling you.
Before I was living on a written budget, when I got a pay raise, it was pretty exciting for that first pay check, but then it was quickly forgotten and my bank account and my lifestyle didn’t seem all that different. Sound familiar? Now that our family is on a written budget, every dollar has a purpose. Even though right now as a “mostly stay at home mom”, my income is small and irregular compared to Eric’s, when I get a paycheck every dollar of it has a place in our budget and it matters! Several people have told me living on a budget feels like getting a raise because it shows them where they’ve been wasting money. How awesome is that? You can be your very own money fairy!
Ready to make your income matter? Ready to have “enough”? Ready for that money fairy to rain down some money? Me too, but my money fairy and her blimp seem to be grounded at the moment. I’m ready to help. Contact me at [email protected] .
Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds. – Proverbs 27:23
The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty. – Proverbs 21:5
I’d love to hear your thoughts on budgeting. Do you currently do a written budget? Have you tried budgeting in the past, but it just didn’t work? Are you afraid budgeting will cramp your style?