Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Enough:: a budget

Truth: I don't know where the line is. I'm learning, but that's it: I'm learning.

Before I even knew there was a My One Word journey, and picked the word enough, I ran a $30MM budget within a giant company, lived a life, had kiddos, made a living, and put money in the bank. But somehow, understanding the difference between a budget, and spending what I have available to spend missed syncing.

In late December I purchased budgeting software: You Need a Budget, YNAB. I started using it right away. It's wonderful. Simple, but for the "pretty aware of my expenses and what I'm spending type" not so easy. For January, February and a lot of March I was doing well. I had a handle on where my debt and expenses sit and, of course, what I have coming in. Sounds like budgeting, right? Well, yes, but, in a huge wall-of-a-moment, I saw what I do with credit (forget about it) and true spending planning (huh?). In the process, I cleared a couple of credit cards and was feeling snappy when I noticed this notation on the budget: Over Budget in January: $xxx, Over Budget in February: $xxx. (It compounds.) Oh dear. I learned that when you account for all your spending and set plans for every dollar (this is the beauty of the YNAB Gain Total Control of Your Money promise) you can actually know where every dollar is supposed to go and where it's actually going. You can assign it a task. I just seemed to be letting some of my spending go into a void. (That would be the credit card/debt void of "I'll get to it later.") I see that without a significant amount of monitoring, money can be sneaky, running off with someone else; a store, an on-line bookseller, a child, without notice or without at least without waking you up to the fact that it is departing. Then it's gone, poof!, gone.

Let me be clear, I'm fairly certain right now that money is a metaphor. Time seems to do this as well. Plan or it's gone, poof!, gone.

This budgeting business has brought a new friend. This one, with whom I'm becoming quite cozy if not a bit uncomfortable is a warm, inviting, quiet and well considered life mate. I introduce: Detailed Planning, a calm, reserved, easy-going but exacting pal. (Ugh! Spur of the Moment Spontaneity, you'll have to take a break, I'm listening through the other ear for now.) There's a pleasant evenness in the relationship. We haven't quite hit peace yet, but I see it in the distance. We are walking through a process together. Me, in non-judgmental awareness, learning, learning, learning. And D.P. with quiet facts about reality and choices.

I pray that my intentions and plans will meet without crushing dreams. Reality is good. Dreams are good. High expectations are good -- when they work together. And being both awake and aware in the process provides excellent stepping stones for this beginning of a new process.

So now, enter MyOneWord: enough.

I have to wonder, how this came to pass in this order? Its my biggest and most appreciative question. And all this while, I'm discovering enough in the midst of what's true, right, and right in front of me.


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