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How a budget got Cinderella to the Ball: How To Manage Your Cash Flow

[First featured on Claire Park Therapies]

Budgeting is seen as the ugly sister of your finances.

It’s really about having cash flowing through your life and your business.

With little money or time, Cinderella’s life was just work and stress from dawn til dusk and she needed some fun.

Let’s help Cinderella go to the ball.

How a budget got Cinderella to the Ball

1. Clothing

Our Cinders needs some decent clothes so she needs a clothing budget of 80% need, 20% want (what you love but don’t need).

One ‘Wanted’ post on Freecycle later and a ball gown was hers (her 20%). If you think this is unlikely, it’s incredible what people post on Freecycle. A first edition of Harry Potter for example.

Fairygodmothers also exist in charity shops, eBay, your friends and family or a sewing machine.

2. Food

Cinderella needs a good feed, as not being healthy won’t go down well at a big occasion.

Our Cinders is realistic.

She knows she’s no cook, and has little time because of looking after the ugly sisters.

So she invested a little time in finding out what she can cook easily, cheaply, with good nutrition, tastes fabulous, and can be cooked in bulk for later eating (it’s called sensible, or lazy depending on your view. I prefer lazy and sensible).

She has a budget, sticks to it, and keeps herself some luxuries. A little good dark chocolate will do wonders for her motivation.

It’s not worth skimping on food: it’s health care.

3. Transport

Pumpkins have gone up in price this year so she’s a bit worried about how she’ll pay for it.

It’s not like you can go to a Ball by bus, even if one went there, which it doesn’t (she’s in a rural location).

But she did some digging around and there is money in the travel budget for a shared pumpkin/car scheme or a pumpkin/car club.

As a back up plan, she’s agreed to take in extra washing for a neighbour in exchange for some oats money to feed the horses pulling the pumpkin. Called sharing the petrol money usually 😉

How is Cinderella doing with her budgeting?

Clothes, food, transport, check.

Little extra for motivating luxuries, check. Feeling fabulous? Check.

I’m impressed.

That’s a shoestring budget, and she’s done it in style.

It’s just as well, because a bit of fun is kinda necessary, and she really really wanted to go to the ball/enjoy life.

All work and no cash flow is just not good for anyone.

Cinderella thought discipline and planning wasn’t really her thing, but it was worth it if she got to go to the ball and Eat Chocolate (from her 20%).

I think she deserves a round of applause.

How to manage your cash flow

1. What do you absolutely need to have?

2. What do you possibly need to have?

3. What would you like to have and is useful?

4. What do you want?

5. What would make a real positive emotional difference if you had it?

Create budgets based on mostly 1+2, with a bit of 3. Add a budget for luxuries (what you want) and what makes you feel GOOD.

These two should not be more than 20% combined of your main budget. They’re your escape valve to keep you feeling good and sticking to your other goals.

If you are self-employed, do this for your business. I offer savings coaching, individual or a series of sessions, starting at £245.

Penny Golightly is a blog packed full of useful information on practical money issues and her #cashchat on Twitter is definitely worth a look.


The final ending to our tale?

Cinderella met her prince at the ball.

He was entranced by her money skills and fell head over heels in love.

They agreed they wanted to invest in their future together and run a business.

The Princely Cinders nursery will be opening soon.

She looks after the budgeting and marketing. He looks after the children. They hired a cook and lived happily ever after.

The End.

What’s your Ending? A managed budget, little luxuries and less stress? I’ll vote for that.


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