So, what is it, exactly, that I think you can afford and have the time for? Anything you want! All you have to do is to prioritize it and include it in your budgets. You know — your financial and time budgets. And I mean budget in the sense of allocating resources, which does not necessarily involve scrimping.
We say, “I can’t afford that” when it comes to money, when what we really mean is, “I actually don’t want that,” or, “I don’t think I deserve that,” or, “I’m not willing to do what it takes to get that.” And we say, “I don’t have time for that,” when we mean exactly the same things. And both are equally erroneous. You can afford to do whatever you want. OK, maybe not everything you want all at the same time. But you can have a lot more of what you want than you think you can!
How to get what you want
If you think you can do a thing, or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right. –Henry Ford
Then you need clarify your priorities, and set goals, plan, and budget your time and money. The clearer you are about what you want, the more focused you can be on what it’s going to take to get it. At the same time, you will find yourself more satisfied with what you have, and worrying less about things you don’t have and aren’t doing.
A goal without a plan is just a wish. –Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Here’s a personal example: I enjoy regular massages. And I like having my house cleaned by someone else, and having my yard maintained for me, and lots of other things. But it’s not in my current budget to have all of these things at the same time. Some of the things I spend money on without question include auto maintenance, self health care, pet health care, and regular haircuts. A big grey area for me is how much I spend on media – cable TV, Netflix, Audible, Tivo, etc. Right now such forms of entertainment are a priority. Maybe in the future they won’t be so important to me. Maybe I’ll cancel some of my services, and use the resulting extra funds for regular massages. Or, maybe I’ll implement strategies to make more money, in which case I might decide to put it all toward more travel instead of the other things I’ve mentioned. The point is that to me the possibilities are endless!
Budget Your Time
Everyone on this planet is given the same 24 hours in the day. The question is: what do you choose to do with yours?” –unknown
People think about budgeting money, but they often don’t apply the same concept to time. It’s true that you can’t save it up to use later in quite the same way, but you can certainly increase your awareness of how you are spending it on a daily basis, and plan how you want to spend it in the future.
So, for any achievement or activity that you have been merely wishing for, set a S.M.A.R.T. Goal, and make a plan. Clear some To-Do List Clutter and reorganize your schedule. Think about what you can give up that won’t even hurt very much. Can you watch 2 hrs of TV on Wednesdays instead of 4 in order to free up time to take that class you thought you didn’t have time for?
Budget Your Money
Do you ever find yourself saying, or thinking (as an example), “I’d love to go on a cruise, but I can’t afford that!” Yes? Well, STOP! Think. Do you REALLY want to go? If you really kind of don’t want to go, clear that form of mental clutter and just admit it. But if you really do want to go, then start saving for it! Could you plan it for 2 years out (24 months)? Let’s pretend, for the sake of round numbers, that it’s going to cost $1200 including airfare. Could you save $50/month between now and then? If yes, then you’d better start now, and not put it off for another year! If you are on a truly fixed income and there is truly nothing in your current budget that could be cut (such as eating out, and anything you consider wasteful but do anyway), then perhaps you should look for a more affordable trip to take that would satisfy you. But otherwise you can do it if you decide to, and plan for it, and take action!
If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail! –Benjamin Franklin
Getting Organized on a Budget
Some potential clients assume they cannot afford my services before they even ask what I charge! I have written before about the cost of clutter and how to get organized at any budget. So yes, you can afford to get organized! It will probably take more time than money. But if it’s important enough to you, you will budget for both. I have to laugh whenever someone says to me: “I really want to hire you to help me with my time management…(wait for it)…but I don’t have time.” Sometimes they see the irony in their statement, but not always. They don’t realize how much easier their life would be if they made a small investment in themselves.
How much is your clutter costing you? Can you really afford NOT to get organized?
So…what is it that YOU want to do? Does it require more time or money than you think you can afford? What form of activity, cash flow, and mental clutter would you have to remove; and what plan would you have to put into place for it to happen?
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Copyright 2014 by Hazel Thornton, Organized For Life.
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