Spend as we say, not as we do.

21 11 2016

“A budget tells us what we can’t afford, but it doesn’t keep us from buying it.” ~ William Feather

All of the employees in my company work for a credit counseling organization, and most of us know the basic budgeting concept that we teach to tens of thousands of consumers every year:  Understand how much you make, and set up your life such that your expenses don’t exceed your income.  In other words, live within your means.  I’d also bet that many, if not most of us do carry some debt due to over-extending ourselves.  We may carry a credit card balance, or have bought a car with a loan versus paying cash for one.  In short, most of us probably have more debt than just a mortgage.  So much for living what we teach, right?

Leaders, every budget season, you’ve probably brought the executive team a budget where, after rolling the initial budgets up, you’re then told that you need to either cut more expense than in your first pitch, or you’ll be asked to find more revenue if you need all of your expenses.  Every year we have to make decisions on benefits, and often we have to give up a little bit more.  This isn’t unique to my company… just look at the 26% average increase in health care benefits across Obamacare nationally.  Even the United States, one of the greatest nations on the planet has a budget deficit.  My leadership point is that sometimes you have to make the best choices that you can within the limits of your family, department, company or country’s income.  That might start with having a roof over your head, then food, utilities, etc.  Make your choices with the most important expenses at the top of the list – start with the must have’s and only buy the nice-to-have’s if there’s assets left over.

Speaking of budgets…

budgetrocks

Rubes cartoons used with permission. www.rubescartoons.com

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