Join me on a journey towards a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. Throughout November we will be exploring each category of the A-Z guide to a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. Today we’re looking at B… Budget.
This guide has been written from the point of view of someone living with chronic illness but the topics and concepts discussed are relevant to everyone and anyone.
B is for Budget
Budget is quite often seen as a dirty word, something that is only necessary if you’re in debt or in trouble, too difficult to actually implement and stick to but it doesn’t have to be.
The same can be said for the word ‘sustainability’. When people hear it they think hippie, greenie, alternative… When I hear it I think long lasting, able to maintain, continuity.
I think to live a sustainable life, it’s important to think about and establish budgets, especially when you live with a chronic illness.
When I talk about budgets I’m not only talking about financial budgets. I’m also talking about energy, time and mental budgets. To me a budget is a plan or guideline to how I plan to use my money, time, energy, etc. Each plan must still be flexible to allow for life fluctuations.
Budgeting is a way of identifying my limits and tracking how I’m going in maintaining those limits.
Personally, I currently have 2 ‘budgets’ developed, our monthly financial and my daily energy/steps budget, and I’m looking at setting others to further help me with pacing and maintaining my health.
For our finance budget I just use one of the templates available in excel. My energy/steps budget is more of a target I aim for… At the moment my target range is to stay within 4,000 to 6,000 steps per day. This is something I’ve slowly built up to from under 2,000 steps a day. Some days with appointments I go over this, others I may be under because of extremely low health, but in general I am now able to maintain it.
The next ‘budget’ I need to set up is more of a routine than a budget. I’m going to allocate specific times of day to specific activities (or intensity of activity) to better help me with pacing. This is something that is being recommended by my Exercise Physio as a means of taking control of my life rather than trying to live around my appointments.
What areas of your life do you need to work on budgeting? The obvious area is your finances but where else can you think of?