Money. Budgets. Saving. Not feeling ignorant when it comes to finances. That’s sort of what Bravely is all about helping you with.
What is This New Workbook and Why Create It?
I’ve been talking about money pretty nonstop for the last four years. In that time I’ve worked with people as a money coach (email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested!), written hundreds of articles about money management, and held over 12 events dedicated to talking about money.
It’s fair to say I have learned a thing or two about people’s money concerns and their biggest roadblocks. And as much as I would like to work with everyone in the world one on one, or talk through your budget at a Bravely event, there just isn’t the time.
That’s why I created the Bravely Values Based Budgeting Workbook. It’s a workbook designed to help you identify your core values, and then build a budget around them that actually works for you.
There are roughly a billion budgeting apps, and you can download a free budget template from practically any personal finance website out there. But without spending the time to figure out what you really want to spend your money on, what you’re currently spending money on, and what your overall life values are, those tools won’t help you.
The first rule of budgeting is to know thyself. I’m super good at eating at home and have a tiny restaurants budget. Someone who loves to spend time with friends at restaurants, who wants to share a plate of fries with friends as they catch up on life stuff- this person can’t survive on $50 a month for restaurants! Eating out is how they express a value of theirs, which is spending time with a person they love.
A budget that allows for you to spend money on the things you care about is a budget that works. Anything else is just going to suck.
How It Works
The Bravely Values Based Budgeting Workbook is available for download right here. The workbook is 22 pages long (and hilarious, if I may say so.) It’s filled with worksheets and questions to help you identify your values, figure out your spending triggers, your savings blocks, and then tools to help you start a new budget that will actually work. The download also comes with two spreadsheets; a spending tracker and a new budget template to kickstart your budgeting journey.
As you can see from this handy-dandy screenshot, you’ll spend a month simply tracking your spending. It’s important to get some data down so that we have something to work with! The tracker is one of the two spreadsheets included in the download.
The workbook walks you through 8 chapters (titled after Leslie Knope compliments. I told you, it’s hilarious.) You’ll set financial goals, you’ll spend time analyzing your spending habits, you’ll identify your true values. Laughs and shenanigans will be had! Well, not so much shenanigans as deeply personal financial work, but isn’t that kind of the same thing?
Finally, you’ll use the budget template to set a new budget for yourself. And here’s where I think I did some of my best work; the budget template includes columns for both your goal spending and your actual spending. Setting up a new budget is a step towards changing your financial life, but change can be bumpy. You will probably not always get it right, AND THAT IS OK.
With this workbook and budget, I want you to create a life you love and numbers to match that. If you set a goal budget of $150 on restaurants and spend double that in the first two weeks, that’s ok. It just means that you are expressing a value through restaurants, and we need to make space for that value in a more budget friendly way. The goal spending column is there so you know what you’re working towards, and to act as a bit of accountability. The weekly spending columns are there to give you valuable insight into your spending, and so you can see how your life and spending habits may change week to week depending on what’s on your plate.
Budgets Should Enhance Your Life, Not Strangle It
I hear from a lot of people that budgeting sucks. The intention with this workbook is that you’ll get to know your financial self better than ever before, and use that information to create a budget that RULES instead of slowing sucking the life out of you.
A budget that you hate, or that you resent keeping a record of, or that you just straight up don’t want to pay attention to is a budget that will fail. A budget that, on the other hand, gives you the freedom to spend on the things you truly love and value, and that releases you from spending money on things you don’t give a rat’s booty about, is one that will work.
Budgeting gets a bad rap, but it can truly change your life and radically transform your money. It is my belief that this workbook and these spreadsheets will help you do just that. Get your copy here, and let me know what you think!