Monday, April 18, 2011

Panicking through Budgeting

Every year, I realise I have no where near enough money to accomplish all the things that I want to do. I budget a year's worth of income from my business at once, and try to fit in all the 'big things' that need to be done, like making my RRSP contribution, or setting aside my 'pay' for the entire year. This gives me anxiety to no end.

I usually pull Hubby into the process when I cannot stand the anxiety anymore. I need his input on how to prioritise all the things we want to accomplish. Our priorities are usually in some kind of order like this:
RRSP first, then rent for the year. After that comes debts owed and priority expenses like insurances. When I have put off something for a fair amount of time, like paying the lawyer's retainer fee, it gets bumped upward on the list. If it's a 'nice to have', but not dire, it gets put way low on the list.

So to try to maintain some level of priority on my financial goals, I have redone my 2011 Financial Goals Page. Color coded to remind me of what's most important, and in order. As we knock off one of the goals in red, we can bump something from green to the red area, and something from the blue area to the green. I can 'work' on all of these things at any time, but I must prioritise the RED GOALS first!!

All of this to relieve my anxiety. While working on the beginnings of a yearly budget the other morning, I actually started to feel physically panicked. I know me. I know that the only way to relieve that panic is to share it with hubby, and to get a plan put in place, however imperfect it may be. I know our budgeting will never be 'perfect'. My income fluctuates way too much for it to ever be perfect.

I must not panic. I must remember to breathe deeply. I must remember that all will come with time, diligence and hard work. I must remember I am not alone in my struggle, and to ask B for his help when I cannot see clearly. This too shall pass.


  1. I have been feeling very panicky myself lately. It can be a paralyzing feeling.

  2. I think you are wise to stay focused on prioritizing your goals. We'd all love to have money set aside for summer fun, for example, but not if collection agencies are calling because we haven't paid an overdue bill, right? Hang in there. You are doing a great job just getting it all organized and prioritized. Sometimes panic is a good thing - it kicks us into gear and gets us moving in the right direction!

  3. Hello :)
    Just wanted to comment on your priority list - nice idea btw - one thing that I noticed was you have not spread out your major expenses over the year. Most insurance companies will charge you monthly, and although the government suggests certain tax payments to be made for businesses, simply making a monthly deposit into the CRA account for the year based on your actual monthly income (e.g.30% of gross) spreads out everything. HST should be submitted monthly as well - simply calculate it each month and submit it. If you never had it in the first place, then you won't spend it.

    Build your budget on what you actually have, not on your cash flow which will be inflated because of tax money not submitted.

    Hope this helps ...

  4. I agree with Jolie, it's one of those months! I love the idea of your goals being color coded.

  5. Feeling your anxiety! Money is power and to not have enough to accomplish all your goals within a certain time period makes a person feel powerless or panicky. Gosh, I'll never forget the feeling of paying for groceries with my visa card when I couldn't make it through a month on my income. NOT a good feeling for sure. Yes, this WILL pass.