The words “enjoy” and “budget” are rarely found in the same sentence. Budgets are frequently viewed as restrictive, boring, and tedious.
If you find yourself nodding your head in agreement right now, let me encourage you to reconsider the role a budget plays in your life.
Consider an organization. Any good organization has a mission. They yearn to go somewhere, to be something. The organization does not desire to simply exist.
To chase that mission, priorities must be identified. But saying they know the mission and priorities is not enough. Words mean little unless the financial structure reflects the mission and priorities of the organization. A financial structure that does not mirror the current mission and its priorities usually leads to frustration as the organization spins its wheels, unable to move forward.
“Why can’t we move forward?”
The money was not going toward the priorities that fuel the mission.
You have dreams. You have hopes. You don’t desire to simply exist. God has not designed you to simply exist.
You have a mission. And your budget? It’s a blueprint from mission. Your budget is a tool to help you get money to the priorities that fuel your life’s mission. Your budget is also a tool to help you get money to the things that make you happy. Your budget is asl a tool to help you reduce the amount of money you spend on things that are not a part of your mission and bring you little happiness. Most people spend way too much money on things that matter little to them.
So, how do you develop a budget you enjoy? Certainly, it starts with a shift in mindset. You view your budget, not as a necessary evil, but as a blueprint for mission. This is the financial structure that will help you reach your God-given dreams and hopes.
Then, you must answer a few questions before you start allocating your money. The answer to these questions should influence how your budget is structured.
1. What does the Bible says about your financial priorities?
To create a blueprint for mission, you must first know God’s overall mission and His financial priorities. What does God say about money? Why does He give us financial resources? Your alignment with His design for you and your money is critical to creating a budget you enjoy on a much deeper level—deep satisfaction, contentment, and happiness.
2. What are your real needs?
Certainly, you must make sure your essentials are covered. Food, housing, clothing, medical care, and utilities are a few of the essential items that should be present in your budget. But be careful, there is a fine line between the amount you need and the amount you want with these items.
3. What energizes you?
Next, identify what brings you energy. What do you enjoy doing? For some, the answer will be an experience—hiking, running, fishing, traveling. Others are foodies, they genuinely love trying various foods. Maybe, you love going on mission trips. Identify that which energizes you.
4. What prior expenses still make you happy?
Consider past expenses. What did you spend money on that you still look back with fondness? Maybe it was a vacation. Maybe it was a mission trip. Maybe it was a fishing pole. What expenses did, not just leave you without regret, but is still producing happiness?
5. What prior expenses do you regret?
As you consider past expenses, what do you wish you would not have spent so much money one? Maybe it was a car. Maybe it was coffee. Maybe it was a subscription service. What prior expenses do you regret?
6. On what expense would spending more likely lead to increased happiness?
Where do you wish you could spend more money? If you were given a financial bonus and it had to be spent on something, what would you spend it on? Would you spend it on another mission trip? Would you buy more books? Would you purchase more coffee drinks? On what expense would spending more likely lead to increased happiness.
Your budget is a blueprint for mission. It is not meant to restrict you from chasing your God-given mission and dreams. And it is not a tool for reducing happiness.
Does creating a blueprint for mission mean that you can spend whatever you want on those things that mean the most to you? Absolutely not. But it does create a plan for you to go after those things more aggressively while limiting the amount of money going toward things that you don’t necessarily care about.
Create a blueprint for mission. And by doing so, you will create a budget you actually enjoy.