What do kite-flying and personal finances have in common? To answer that question, you must first ask another: While flying a kite, what keeps it in the air? The string, of course. If you cut the string, the kite will flutter downward to the ground. Without the string, nothing holds the kite at the right angle to catch the wind to keep it flying safely in the sky.
Similarly, when you establish a spending plan (or some people like to call it a budget but they really are two different things) you might think you are tying yourself down to a certain amount of money you can spend. This is restriction! But if you just spend as you wish, without tracking your spending to see what you really value and where your true spending priorities are, then it’s like cutting the string to the kite… you will financially flutter down to the ground.
But what about those darned restrictions? With a true spending plan (not a budget), like the plan we teach our clients how to build at Money Mastery, there is a way to have more freedom within the plan than a plain old budget allows. This is like letting out more string when flying a kite — as you do so, the kite soars higher but it is still tied down so that it does not come crashing to the earth.
Tethering yourself to some kind of plan makes it possible for you to spread your wings, all while remaining in control. I have included the following words from the song “Let’s Go Fly a Kite,” from the classic Disney movie Mary Poppins, as a motivation to help you feel inspired to build a proper spending plan:
Let’s Go Fly a Kite
With tuppence for paper and strings
You can have your own set of wings
With your feet on the ground, you’re a bird in flight
With your fist holding tight
To the string of your kite
Oh, let’s go fly a kite
Up to the highest height
Let’s go fly a kite and send it soaring
Up through the atmosphere
Up where the air is clear
Oh, let’s go fly a kite!
I hope you will allow the words to sink in as you realize the power that comes from disciplining yourself to be grounded firmly to a plan. Visit www.moneymastery.com to get more information about how to create a spending plan that will let you control your spending, while still allowing you the freedom to have the things you want without going over.