Balancing the Budget

It’s not always a money thing.

Over the weekend, I crunched numbers for the home front and also the workplace, and we’re toeing the line. So it’s a matter of figuring out how to creatively reapportion, move things around, make necessary cuts, live more frugally, do business strategically. 

Budgeting is a great exercise because it opens our eyes to what is, and perhaps to what we want life to be like. Can we get there? Is there the possibility of creative financing to make it happen?

What’s the prospect for new business? Where can we grow? And where can we trim the fat?

For our family, one glaring indulgence is how often we eat out. We have a big family, with big appetites, so eating out is one area where we could cut down. Especially with farmers markets ramping up for season.

With the business, the question I’m facing is whether to hire a fantastic candidate at a deservedly high rate – or hold out for a less-than-ideal at a more affordable salary. Even there, it’s luxury vs. necessity, the infamous line I heard from my parents every time I “wanted” something.

Luxury or necessity – can you adequately answer that question every time?

The other thing I notice when budgeting is that it’s not just about money. It’s also time. Energy. All the many resources that go into building a balanced life.

So, say, if I only want to work five hours a day, wouldn’t I have to pay more to fill in the blanks when I’m not there? Or if I don’t want to clean the house, um, I have to pay someone else to do it, right?

Time is money. Energy is a resource. We only have so much of everything.

So I’m faced with this question of, how do I budget for the life I want, to meet everyone’s needs, to grow and evolve and be satisfied and still have an opportunity to read a book on a weekend afternoon?

Over the weekend, my eldest and I attended a Torah study at our synagogue. It was a simple discussion on the portion that details the 10 Commandments and dives into explanation of the meaning behind the words.

It occurred to me that we’d all get closer to character-driven living if we simply kept this idea of holiness in mind all day, every day. The minute the supreme, the divine, God, whatever you call it, leaves the room, that’s the minute we turn toward confusion and misalignment.

He’s not my favorite politician, but I read a great quote by Ronald Reagan that sums it up nicely: “We might come closer to balancing the budget if all of us lived closer to the commandments and the golden rule.”

I have to agree. Who knew that a focus on holiness would elevate the mundane stuff and keep us on that higher plane, where happiness resides?

Well, we all knew it. It’s just too easy to see.

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