One of the biggest concerns people have about taking on a budget coach is that they are fearful that when going through learning how to budget, they will be told they can no longer spend on something that is really important to them. Fortunately, this is rarely ever the case.
As a personal budget coach at Grandma’s Jars, my primary concern is not so much what you spend your money on, but how much you spend relative to what you earn. The Golden rule of money management simply states – you cannot spend more than you earn. This is the mantra of every good budget coach.
It doesn’t matter who you are or how much you earn, it’s a universal fact that you cannot consistently spend more than you earn without getting yourself into financial difficulty. Lines of credit, redraw facilities and credit cards will allow us to spend beyond our means for a period of time. However, at some point the debt repayments will exceed our income and at that point you are, financially speaking, stuffed!
My primary focus when working with new clients is to gain a genuine understanding of their priorities and then try to make the budget work around that. I recently had a client tell me that I could cut anything from the budget except the $300 she spent each month on her hair. In fact, she was even willing to eat less as long as she could her hair allowance!! Aside from her rent this was the biggest expense in her budget. By cutting down on other expenses we were able to get her budget to a point where we could keep the $300 for her hair appointments, eat well and still have a healthy monthly surplus.
My experience at Grandma’s Jars is that every individual or couples’ priorities are different when budgeting. For some people their sport is their priority, for others it is their pets and still for others it is their desire to travel each year. Understanding a client’s priorities and objectives is crucial to the success of a budget. It’s possible for clients to be having fun while sticking to a budget. If you take away the things that really give them pleasure in life, they are far less likely to stick to their budget long term.
Don’t get me wrong, there are of course some instances where a client’s income and expenditure is so tight that priority expenses do need to take a haircut. However, you will be surprised how often this can be avoided with the right structure.
Ultimately the goal of every good budget coach is to put you in a stronger financial position so you have more money to do the things that are important to you, not less!
If you think you could benefit from the guidance and accountability provided by budget coaching to reach your financial goals, what’s holding you back?