Alaska

Alaska
My Log Cabin in Alaska

Monday, April 29, 2013

Budget


 
Is that a four letter word? A word that makes us cringe or feel overwhelming guilt? I usually face my monthly chore of working out my budget with the same gusto I have for going to the doctor for a colonoscopy! But the financial budget is just as important to the health of my pocketbook as that other thing is to my personal health, so I do it.


That is altogether the wrong attitude.

In the effort to improve my feelings toward the topic, I shall attempt to redefine it. A budget is a plan. But, I don’t like that word very much either. If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plan. How about a map? I love, love, love maps. I grew up traveling and I could read a map before I could read a book. You have a start point, and end point, and a series of necessary stops in the middle. Love it, on my way to a new attitude.

Ok, now to apply it.

How is my lovely map like my unlovely monthly budget? I have a start point, X dollars. I have my end point, nothing in the red. Oooooh better yet, let’s have something in the savings account. We have all the necessary stops, the bills, the groceries, the discretionary fund, and whatever else I forgot to list. Make it fit and even take a picture of it for posterity. (And I have discovered that it is easier to cut out the junk that isn’t healthy for me or my financial budget.) That feels better already.

Can I apply this concept to the rest of my life and most especially to my writing? If I am to make a business of writing with any hope what so ever of putting a dollar or two in the bank, then I had better figure out how to apply this budget concept to my ‘list of things I gotta do’. I have my allotted hours to spend, and I know where I want to be at the end of the day. I also know where I want to be in a year. Here’s how I prepare my ‘Time Budget’:

1.       Make a list and prioritize it, be honest and thorough.

2.       Allow enough time for each event on your list.

3.       If you have to, assign a day of the week, or a day of the month, to accomplish each event, especially if it is a reoccurring event like paying bills.

4.       Absolutely must earmark a proper amount of time every day for these personal items:

a.       Meditation or prayer

b.      Personal hygiene

c.       Your significant other

5.       Select some new technology to learn.

6.       Take time to smell the roses, take a break, go on a picnic – rain or shine.

Now, make sure that everything fits in your time budget. How much time did you allow for your writing? Remember what your college English teacher told you? Two hours of homework for every hour of class. Write it all on a big desk calendar and stick to it.

Does this sound like preparing a schedule for work? That is exactly what it is. If I wish to be successful in writing, I must budget my time and stick to it.

Can I get quality writing done in two hours a day? How about four hours every other day?

 

How do you manage your time budget? How much time do you allow for your writing? Feel free to tap that little button down there and leave me a comment.

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