by: zaghra savahl
Are you feeling stressed out about your monthly finances? For most of us, having a budget that balances every month can make life so much easier. This is one of the main reasons we created our essential Budget Planners – to help you through these frustrating dilemmas.
In the meantime, here are a few of our trusted tips to help you manage your Monthly Budget.
1. Write down every income and expenditure
Have you ever purchased a few items after getting paid, and then within a few days, be confused about where your money disappeared to? This happens when you’re not consciously keeping track of your finances. In some cases, it might be debit orders going off of which you’re unaware about. This is why writing down every income and expenditure is important as it provides you with a clear picture of where you are in terms of your finances. It also helps you to analyze where you might be overspending or make you aware of monthly installments where the interest rate increased. Analyzing your income and expenditure helps you to plan moving forward.
2. Plan - down to the last cent!
There’s a famous quote by Benjamin Franklin that many involved in finance love to use:
...if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail...
We couldn’t agree more! Planning not only prepares you for the month ahead, but also places you in a position of power when it comes to your monthly budget. If you know exactly where your income is going to, you can be pro-active by adjusting your budget to avoid imbalances. It’s equally important to respect your money to the extent that you plan down to the last cent. Why? Because those little cents that you neglect to factor into your planning can quickly accumulate to a large amount. Those little items that you purchase which you don’t really need can be allocated to a type of savings pocket. You might not reap the benefits immediately, but over time it might save you when you’re short on cash.
3. Seek opportunities to save
We all know how important saving is. It’s something that can be incredibly difficult to do – especially if you don’t have a large income. However, each month, try to place an amount that’s reasonable for you into a savings account of which you can keep as a reserve for later; whether it’s to save for a holiday, a shopping spree or most importantly, when you’re in a crisis. Apart from saving in the traditional sense, always seek out opportunities for where you can save a few extra bucks. Look at items which you regularly buy, and check when these items are on sale. Take advantage of promotions. Even if you feel like you’re in a position where you’re financially stable; coupons, food stamps or gift cards can really help you to sustain your financial stability and give you room to adjust your budget more freely.
4. Find ways to make extra sources of income
We love the idea of being your own boss. Too often, society makes us believe that we’re only meant to do one thing. Go to school, choose a career and then climb the ladder within that career. But we as humans are much more complex than having one dream. We should never limit ourselves. It’s okay to have more than one dream, it’s okay to change career pathways and its okay to stick to your career and do additional work on the side. You do you! But while you’re at it, why not try and get paid for those extra jobs you do on the side? Maybe you love painting, why not find opportunities to get paid for it? Or you’ve had a lifelong passion for fashion, why not take up a sowing class, learn a skill and get paid to work on clothing? The additional sources of income can do wonders for your budget, and who knows, it might end becoming the fully fledged business you’ve always dreamt about.
5. Reward yourself!
You’ve worked hard for your income and you should be rewarded for it. Too often, we give so much of ourselves to everyone else – our jobs, our families – and in the process end up neglecting ourselves. Yes, you get paid for the job, but where does it go to? Groceries, payment installments, everything else except something that is just for you. When doing planning, allocate part of your budget that is solely for you, to spend in which ever way you want. This not only keeps you motivated by gifting yourself, but it also helps to prevent overspending by planning ahead.
For more ways to execute these tips and to sustain your balanced budget, check out our planning items at Striving Flawlessly.