Overdrawn Again? Make A Budget

Have you set a budget? Maybe that’s why your funds are running  low. No, I’m not talking about money. No one has infinite resources, stop acting like you do or believing anyone else does either. Your resources are time, energy, emotional and mental health. It’s all held in an account you might not have ever balanced. Did you even know you had an account?

Some people seem to have bigger budgets than others, lots of energy and need little sleep. It’s great to be wealthy but overspending will damage any budget. I know, I’ve mismanaged and paid for it. I pushed myself until I dropped just trying to keep up with the expectations of people who didn’t even like me.

It can be a difficult, expensive education to get. Stress is the currency and saving is good. Stress comes in two forms, positive and negative. Positive stress motivates us to be interested in the world around us, care about our family and pay the bills. Negative stress causes us to worry needlessly and compare ourselves to others. We can lower our opinion of ourselves. It leads us to hurt others by making promises we simply can’t keep or lash out in anger.

When I look at my balance sheet there are types of stress I don’t have the budget for. Excessive fear, past guilt, blame, greed, and jealousy can clutter my expenses, overdrawing my account. I didn’t say balancing a budget was easy, it never is. Giving up on indulgences is never easy. Until those things are gone, we want to hang onto those emotions. We don’t know yet if positive feelings will move in to take their place. (Spoiler – They will)

There is room in our budget for emotions like the motivational anger that causes us to stand up when it’s the right thing to do. Remember it like this; donating to those in need brings us a good feeling but giving away the rent money doesn’t allow us to help the next time. It’s all about the balance.

I fall into the trap of comparing myself to others and feel bad when I simply can’t do as much they can.  When I am sick, I beat myself up, feeling guilty. That isn’t helpful. I can’t afford that guilt. I can’t afford those comparisons. It’s more helpful to contribute what I can when I can and appreciate what others do,  thanking them for it.

Some expences are necessary, Always pay these as you would rent and utilities. Caring for those we love, showing thanks and giving of ourselves when we don’t have to, are the fixed and necessary expences of a healthy heart and mind. I will only say, remember Scrooge.

To balance your budget start paying attention or being mindful. High tech or low, record your efforts. Start a journal and investigate the many apps that assist learning. Be careful though. The goal is to decrease negative stress so don’t let overindulging in this step add to your budget.

Gather accounting tools. Again, don’t get carried away. I would suggest not spending on any software or apps until leaning the basics. It’s unnecessary and by the time the basics are learned, you might find an app isn’t what suits you. Perhaps joining the local yoga class is. Be mindful.

What are the basics? Leaning to slow your mind. Focusing isn’t the same as concentration. I leave it to you to learn the difference. Breathing is basic.

I can’t advise anyone on what will work for them. There are so many options. I can  start you along with a few links and encourage a search for more.

Don’t forget to be a hero and a superstar for someone else by sharing what you learn.

New to Mindfulness? How to Get Started

7 Easy Ways to be Mindful Every Day

Stress Management Coping with Stress

Further reading:

Stress, Endocrine Physiology and Pathophysiology

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