Saturday, July 12, 2014

Budgeting Freedom Chips

Mowing the lawn is one of those tasks I certainly did not miss when living on the boat. But, while I am here in Colorado, it has been one of my chores as we work on the house.  So, a couple days ago as I was mowing the lawn, the new neighbor that moved in across the street was in her car with what sounded like talk radio playing really loudly.

As I bag up the grass clippings, I start to hear a much softer voice in the background.  Is my neighbor talking to the radio?  Then I realize that it wasn't talk radio, but she was using her car's Bluetooth phone interface to carry on a conversation.  And with the radio so loud, it is virtually impossible (for anyone in the neighborhood) to ignore half of the conversation. The call was clearly work-related and it sounds like my new neighbor is some sort of personal financial planner.

The discussion was about how their client was having trouble keeping within her budget. It sounded like, while she had more than sufficient budget to provide for life's daily necessities and then some, she would continue to overspend each month.  I went back to mowing the lawn but started thinking about their client.

I thought about a post I made a while back on money and how it actually equates to a person's freedom. I wondered if their client was similar to other people I've encountered (including myself) that would often go buy things in an attempt to fill some sort of void in their life.  I pondered if the person's view of their budget would change if it were more obvious to them that they were trading part of their lifetime for whatever things were blowing the budget.  And maybe if they were enjoying their life a bit more, they wouldn't feel the need to spend their freedom on these things.

Of course, I only got half of the conversation so I don't know the whole story...and I'm sure the client, whoever she is, is probably happy about that.  But it does remind me that there are a lot of people out there running in the rat race because it is what society expects of them, they aren't that happy, and they never questioned that there may be other ways.  If my neighbor's client figures out there may be better ways (or that her financial problems are being aired throughout our neighborhood), she may regain some of her budget. And when she fires the people telling her to work more and spend less maybe she can figure out the underlying cause that makes her overspend and just perhaps she can regain some of her freedom.


  1. Nice post Mike! How true it is...
    Sadly, many people will never figure out what truly makes them happy in life.

    1. Thanks Britton! Unfortunately I think that is true more often than not. I think our society is good at selling the idea that buying more stuff will make you more happy...and it just seems to make life more cluttered.