I have a confession to make: I live in a zoo.

I have two dogs, three cats, and a fishpond full of koi. I love these guys so much – yes, even the fish –  and I’ll do pretty much anything to keep them comfortable, safe, and happy.

As you probably expect, that takes a huge toll on my budget. The everyday stuff like food, treats, and checkups suck up thousands of dollars a year. Most of my indoor pets are older. Some need special diets. Some need medication. It all adds up. The regular bills can get pretty big. And that’s if nothing goes wrong.

But something always does.

Pet Health Issues

This year alone we’ve dealt with two dislocated hips (one at a time, same dog though), a rare and terrible reaction to a new medicine (a cat), and asthma (other dog). That led to many extra vet visits and a lot of physical therapy. [Just so you know, everyone’s fine now.]

The poor pup with the dislocated hip needed all kinds of extra care, like being carried in and out of the house and special splints called hobbles to keep his hip in place. My other dog – his brother – has some heart and lung issues and needs to take  5 different medicines twice a day.

All of this sucks up to a lot of money in the budget. And while I can plan for all the regular stuff, you just can’t predict when an illness or injury will happen.

Plan Ahead

That’s why I have a separate pet health emergency savings account. And why I keep my budget flexible.

That’s the thing about budgets – though I hate using that word. It brings to mind cutbacks and sacrifice. And that’s the opposite of what a budget does for you.

It’s more like an outline for your finances.

When I’m writing a book or an article, I start with an outline so I can organize my thoughts and figure out where I want to go and what direction I want to take.  It helps me keep everything in order and it gives me a plan to follow.

That’s what a budget does for my money… sort of like my money outline. Where I expect my money is going to go,  how much of it I expect is going where, and how that fits in with everything else in my financial life.

You can change your budget/outline/plan based on what’s happening in your life right now. You don’t have to be locked into something you set up when things were different. Or try to squish today’s reality into yesterday’s expectations. Because that can make you just ignore it or trash it. And then your finances will spin out of control.

Managing Anxiety

No matter what’s going on, it’s better to know where your money is going. And not be freaked out when you have a lot of month left at the end of your money.

And, sure, there are definitely times when the money going out is more than the money coming in. Those months are extra stressful. Because when you work for yourself and you have a bunch of older pets, that just happens. And if you struggle with anxiety (like I do), having a plan makes all of this easier to deal with.

That’s why it’s extra important to have your money outline – your budget. So you get a sense of where the big spending holes are and how you can fill them. So you can tell when an emergency fund needs to get refilled. And so you can adjust your spending when you need to, even if it’s just for a month or two.

Whatever you want to call it, having a flexible budget in place helps you stay on top of where your money is going. And it really helps keep a lid on financial anxiety when you know that you have a plan.

There’s Help!

Of course, for many people trying to create a budget can trigger financial anxiety. But you don’t have to do it alone. Working with someone who’s on your side, who can guide you through the process, and who can help you create the best plan for you makes all the difference. When you have that in place, your money worries shrink… maybe even disappear.

I can help you work through your financial anxiety, increase your financial confidence, and cement your financial security. It can feel scary to get started but very quickly it will feel manageable – it will be manageable.

Click on the button below to contact me and set up your free discovery call today. Together we can transform your financial fears into financial freedom.