Beyond Budgeting to 'Do No Harm' Spending

Transforming Your Money Mindset: Beyond Budgeting to ‘Do No Harm’ Spending

Published On: December 4, 2023

In the world of personal finance, we often hear about the importance of budgeting. However, at the core of true financial well-being lies a more holistic approach: the ‘Do No Harm’ spending plan. At the core of a good relationship with money is making sure your needs come first. Think of it as setting up a monthly map for your spending and income. This approach is really hands-on – it’s about making the most of what you have to ensure your needs are always met.

The Philosophy of ‘Do No Harm’ Spending

‘Do No Harm’ spending is a principle that emphasizes mindful and intentional use of your money. It’s all about choosing to spend in ways that match what’s important to you and your future goals. This means every bit you spend works to add something good to your life without putting you under financial pressure or into debt. 

At the end of movies in which there have been animal stunts, I often see the disclaimer “No animals were harmed in the making of this movie.” That’s how I like to feel when I’ve spent on something that is on my spending plan — “Karen was not harmed in the buying of this item.”

Why a Spending Plan is Not a Budget

Many people confuse spending plans with budgets, but there’s a significant difference. A budget often implies restriction and limitation, focusing on cutting back. Budgets usually mean that you list all the bills you have to pay, then you get what’s left over. Who wants to live on leftovers? The word budget is to money what diet is to food. Diets don’t work, and money diets don’t work, either. 

In contrast, a spending plan is a proactive tool that helps you make decisions to spend your money in a way that supports your goals without the sense of deprivation that often comes with traditional budgeting. 

The goal of having a spending plan is to enjoy the peace and self-esteem that come with “Do No Harm” spending. 

Spending Plan: The Forward-Looking Approach

Unlike ‘rear-view mirror accounting,’ which looks back at what you’ve already spent, a spending plan is forward-looking. It’s about planning and anticipating future expenses and aligning them with your income. A spending plan gives us a way of seeing the consequences of our choices while we still have time to do something about them. By planning your monthly expenses before you actually spend the money, you’ll eliminate the vagueness that often accompanies living without a plan. 

The Benefits of a ‘Do No Harm’ Spending Plan

  • Empowers you to take control of your financial future.
  • Reduces financial stress by avoiding harmful spending patterns.
  • Aligns your financial decisions with your personal values and goals.

Embracing the ‘Do No Harm’ spending philosophy and understanding the true nature of a spending plan can transform your relationship with money. It’s not about looking back with regret but moving forward with purpose and confidence.

Ready to start spending smarter and stress less about money? I’ve developed a fabulous tool called MoneyGrit. to get all the insights and tools you need for your own ‘Do No Harm’ spending plan. Check out MoneyGrit. and see how we make managing your money feel less like a chore and more like a step toward your dreams and what matters most to you. Let’s transform the way you think about money together.”

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