You may think that talking about financial issues on a counselling and psychotherapy website is a bit odd but many of the clients who come to my therapy centre in Wilmslow talk about how stressful dealing with money can be.
You don’t have to be poor to worry about money
It’s not just those in lower paid jobs that struggle with money. I work with many wealthy clients who still find balancing the books a challenge.
Once you get yourself into a certain lifestyle it’s really easy to spend more than you earn, bringing stress, worry and friction into relationships with loved ones.
You Need A Budget
As a psychotherapist I am self employed and my income can vary from one month to the next depending on how many clients I work with. This too can be stressful and was creating anxiety for me.
Through a bit of research I stumbled on You Need A Budget * This is a great bit of software that helps you budget the money you have – not what you think you are going to have.
How You Need A Budget helped me
I’ve been using financial planning software for many years. Most of it works on predicting what you are going to get in or what you have spent. Neither of these things are very useful to help you spend differently.
YNAB is different in that it concentrates on what you actually have. If you don’t have it you can’t budget it.
The best way of thinking about it is imagining you have a row of little envelopes and when you get some money you can put a little bit of money in each envelope for things that you are going to have to pay for in the future.
For example one of the categories I have set up it “Christmas”. Every month I will allocate £20 of the money I have earnt into the Christmas fund. The money never physically leaves my bank account but it means that I can forget I have that money until I need it towards the end of the year when I’m buying presents.
By November I will have a couple of hundred pounds saved up that I can use from that category – this takes the pressure off. I don’t have to suddenly find that money, I’ve saved it in my bank.
The difference You Need A Budget made to me
Initially I was worried that looking at the budget I had created would cause me more anxiety. I thought it would constantly remind me that things were tight financially. What I noticed was that it did the opposite.
As I budgeted for every bill or situation that came up (and it took a few weeks to notice them – you just add extra categories as you go along) I started to feel more in control of my money. I set up a “randoms” category and put money in there for emergencies and started to understand for the first time where my money was going.
As you go through You Need A Budgets comprehensive training (free) and read their forum you will develop a good understanding of the system they suggest to manage your money better and get out of debt if that’s an issue for you.
Now I feel much more relaxed about my finances and because I’ve budgeted for things that are coming up in the future. I don’t have to worry that I’m going to be side swiped by unpredictable events.
Use the YNAB link to get money off
*If you use this link here you will receive $6 off the cost of the You Need A Budget software. This is an affiliate link so I will make a stonking £3 or so if you buy the software through it but that really has nothing to do with my recommendation (it ain’t going to make me rich any time soon!).
This software and the system that comes with it is a great way of reducing stress, anxiety and conflict around money (one of the biggest areas of tension in most couples relationships).
My work is all about encouraging you to do things differently. You Need A Budget can provide you with a great way of sorting your finances out so they no longer cause unwanted feelings or friction in your life.