I know the word ‘budget’ turns people off. Some have even gone so far as to declare to me “they need to come up with a better word than budget” as if that would motivate them to have one.
Budgeting, like dieting, has come to be associated with restriction and missing out.
It’s not the word that’s the problem – it’s the meaning we’ve made.
We are meaning making machines.
The original meaning of budget was quite different
The original fifteenth-century English usage of the word referred to a leather bag and later came to include the contents of one’s leather bag.
It was in the mid-1700s that budget became specifically associated with money, following the custom of Government ministers carrying their expenditure plans in a leather bag. 1Source: https://www.etymonline.com/word/budget and http://www.worldwidewords.org/topicalwords/tw-bud1.htm
You have the power
So, the association of ‘restriction’ is invented and passed down culturally to you. The meaning wasn’t decreed by any higher power.
You could find a different word, but if you don’t change the meaning you make then you will very quickly ascribe a negative meaning to the new word you have chosen.
The great news is that you have the power to invent a different meaning that better serves you.
It doesn’t matter what meaning anyone else makes, it’s not their money nor their life.
The truth – budgeting expands your lifestyle
Not budgeting means you don’t really know what you can afford, and therefore too easily overspend.
Overspending eventually leads to missing out on affording important meaningful experiences.
Further, if you use credit to fund your overspending then the interest you pay restricts what you can spend.
The truth is that not having a budgeting system restricts your lifestyle.
Whilst having a budgeting system expands the quality of your lifestyle.
A better meaning for budget
A budget is my plan to afford:
- What really matters to me
- To live a life I love
- What lights me up
- To pursue what brings me joy
- To pursue the contribution I was born to make in this world
If you feel you must use a different word than budget, then use whatever name lights you up. Some alternative words that already are commonly used include “spending plan” and “conscious money plan.”
But whatever you do don’t use the name as an excuse for not affording to pursue a life that lights you up.
Say it with some flair
Since the English adapted the French word bougette, just say budget with a French accent – its sounds much sexier.