Setting a Budget for Your Passions

Those who have followed this blog for a while know that I do horseback riding. For the others: Hi, My name is Vero and I’ve been addicted to horses for over 20 years. 😉 In other words, from the farest I can recall, my true first passion is horses. I not only need to practice the sport involving the animal, but I deeply need to be in contact with horses.

My coming out being done, this passion does have a financial impact in my life… Read the life of my entire family (Mr. My Husband and our three kids). And because a passion is deep-rooted, it is quite rare that money is not implied in the process! For many like me, money spent for horse related things are almost always worth it.

With no budget, it can turn to a horror story. I’ve known people who went close to bankrupt for pushing their passion too far compared to their means. As a mother, I surely don’t want to bring my kids into precarious situations for something that is not, objectively speaking, a basic need.

Because finance should not be related to emotions and passion is all related to emotions, you must keep some control over it. That way, they can interact with each other without causing too much tension. It also prevents from impulsive and unworthy spending. Don’t buy this new expensive running outfit just because you don’t have one of this colour already. That kind of impulsive and unworthy spending you know… 😉

Setting a budget for your passions will in the long-run give you more freedom and less stress for the other spheres of your life, including work, family, retirement, activities, nights out, etc.

I came to this conclusion when an opportunity to rent a horse was brought to me at the barn. It was an emotional decision to make. Still, I had to think about the financial impact of such a commitment. That couldn’t be done with my emotions.

Here is How I’ve Set and Stretch My Passion Budget

1- Calculate Existing Expenses Related to Your Passion

I decided to start by calculating the existing expenses related to my passion on a monthly basis. That first step by itself made me realise it was more than I thought.

2- Add The Desired Expenses or Stretch Required

I took total expenses and added the cost of the location. Wow! That was a lot of money I wasn’t sure I could afford. The objective part was getting over the emotions… not with hurt feelings! 😉

3- Compare The Amount to Something You’re NOT Passionate About

What I did after that was in order to stay as objective as possible. I took the number and asked myself if I would be okay with my husband spending it for, let’s say, golf (or whatever else that is not a basic need).

I also compared it to something more needy. Like groceries or a car lease, etc. Because yes, my passion is that expensive! Why didn’t I fall for swimming or kicking a ball, huh? 😉

Anyway, that specific step helped me set up a maximum budget as well. It was one thing finding a solution for the rental, but this stretch had to have a limit. Mr. My Husband immediately felt more comfortable knowing this would end at one point! 😉

4- Identify Clear Compromises or Savings to Make

The only way I could afford the horse rental was by doing compromises and savings on other things. That would mean the % of money put in my passion would grow, but something else would have to be lowered.Otherwise, it would have been jeopardizing our financial situation.

In my own case, I accepted to spend less on my own clothes for the year, to reduce my coffee consumption and to order one supper less per month (we used to order 2-3 times a month, now that amount is reduced to one). These alone total over $1,500 per year, so over $130 per month.

5- Identify New Sources Of Income

Another way to realise financial objectives without restraining yourself too much is to identify new sources of income. This is the part that helped me the most. In 2016, I was on maternity leave. Every time, it is financially challenging for us, but we always make it out. By going back to work, income would become higher for us.

I only added a couple extra hours on my schedule to make things work out well. As I’m a freelancer, this was not very complicated. Fortunately for me, 2017 seems like a big year for the people I have contracts with. They were very pleased that I’d have more time for their projects.

The Positive Side to a Budget

At first, Mr. My Husband didn’t want me to take on the horse rental. He thought it was too expensive. I have to admit that deep inside, I agreed to that as well. However, going through these 5 simple steps to make a real budget and find solutions lead to having an agreement! We both realise it was feasible.

It was also in line with our values as we believe passion and fun should be part of our day-to-day life. Many of our decisions are made upon the realisation of this life goal.

Afterall, making a budget is not always boring and restraining! It is also a good tool to organise yourself into making your dreams come true!

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