A budget is defined as a financial plan for a specific period, often an estimate of income and expenditure for a set period of time. In order to succeed, the budget must be “met” and expenses should not exceed money coming in. If this happens, a deficit occurs. . . What does this have to do with VOICE? Well, it is important that we think of our voice like our money, and realize we are responsible for creating and maintaining a (vocal) budget in order to avoid a deficit (vocally, a deficit may reveal itself in the forms of dysphonia, pathologies, loss of voice, time off work, inability to use voice for your job, etc.). We must create and follow a vocal budget so we are aware of how we are using our voice, how much we are using our voice/the vocal demands we place on our voice daily, and the amount of care and rest we give to our voice daily as well. . . If we had to pay for everything we said, sung, etc., (and there were no cash or checks—only credit card), and there were only two options (an air card and a muscle card), we must always choose to "pay" for our voice with the air card. AIR is the foundation for voice and powers the vocal folds, eliminating the need for muscle/strain and igniting the correct coordination of the subsystems of voice for optimal voice use and quality. If we instead choose to pay with our muscle card, voice use will “cost” us five times as much and we will quickly go over budget. The same goes for when we pay with our effort “card” versus our flow or resonance “cards”, our caffeine and alcohol cards versus our water cards, our "wing-it" card versus our warm-up-first card…and the list goes on and on. 🗣 . . What does your vocal budget look like?