Ahh, the dreaded budget conversation. I have managed to avoid this for most of my life. I could blame my former partner, avoid it because “I’m afraid of what it may look like”, or put it off by setting a future date to address it and never getting there. Or, I can face it head on with excitement and positive anticipation of a more secure and solid future.
I will admit it has taken 40+ years to get here, and also a the desire to feel less stressed, to push me. Having a solid plan for where our money goes is the opposite of the heaviness I anticipated. It brings hope, lightness and also excitement for our future. It is never too late to bring this into your life. Would I have preferred to have done this when I was younger? Well of course, but I cannot change the past and I am only in control of the present. We learn from our mistakes and move on.
Starting with a safe space in which to have this conversation is a must. It is important for you and your partner to be on the same page with no judgment or blame. We spoke about it and approached it as a “fun” way to put on paper the future plans we repeatedly talk about. To work together and learn we can do this with minimal changes in our present life was exhilarating.
Thankfully our needs are pretty minimal and want for material things limited. However, planning for our future is wonderful when I see our budget will allow us to continue with the life we are leading, and also be able to save for future desires. Living simply, in a small home is within our means, is exciting. We don’t want material things, we want experiences. We can afford that!
Start with a simple budget plan and work from there. Try not to get too hung up on the small details and adjust as you go. This is where we are and we will continue to learn and grow. Education around finances is continuous and our hope is to set our children up for their future by sharing our knowledge. They will be able to start earlier, and the hope is, as a result of our guidance, they will be “better at it”.
Here is to planning (not stressing) for the future while enjoying the present.
“Budgeting isn’t about limiting yourself – it’s about making the things that excite you possible.”