The dreaded B word haunts us again as each payday approaches us; it is quite hard for us to budget especially because every month after you’ve paid your bills, it is hard to save the $10 that is left to bring us back to work. I most recently purchased something quite expensive and I’ve been getting a lot of questions about how I was able to purchase this at such a tender age of twenty (20) years old as well as going on vacations and so much more. The truth is I do a lot of planning, budgeting, and sacrificing; my methods are extreme and to give you a hit of how extreme I get, I’ll bring with me exactly $230 every day and that only includes fare to and from my house, yes, I do bring lunch and breakfast and water so I do not need to spend any other money apart from my fare.
Budgeting is creating a plan to spend and or allocate your income; we do this so we can know in advance whether or not we will be able to fulfill our plans when the date arrives. It is crucial for us so we can know where to place more emphasis in and where we can cut back on so we can save more money.
It would be ridiculous to ask you to do the same thing as i did so let me share with you other budgeting tips:
- Pay your bills – The responsible thing to do when we get our pay is to take out payments due, that includes: rent/mortgage, utilities: water, light, cable and internet (optional), car expenses or school/bank loans and of course, money to return to work until we get paid again.
- Be Realistic – Budgeting works for everyone if we are realistic and honest about our income and expenses. For example, it does not make sense you put $1000 on your budget for food for the month when you know you eat $10,000 worth of food every week. Budgeting is not to make you feel bad about wanting to treat yourself; the aim is to set up realistic and tangible evidence of what you are doing with your money each month so you can save more.
- Don’t be hard on yourself – If budgeting is fairly new to you, do not give up if the first month’s plan did not work. It’s like trying to lose weight; you cannot hit the gym one day, eat one apple, and expect to see sixty (60) pounds lost within the day. Be patient and keep going, try to learn from each month’s mistake so you can do better the following month.
- Get help – There is no shame in asking for help; if you know someone who is good at keeping track of their money, ask them for help. Most persons get squirmish when it comes on to other people knowing their finances and that is fine, you do not have to ask a stranger, there are persons within your household that is good with money, mom or dad? Ask them.
- Know the difference between needs and wants – You need to pay off your school loan, you do not need to go on vacation. If you can afford to do both then I applaud you but for those of us who wrestle with our minds as to which to place more emphasis on, my advice is to focus on the need.
Never let purchases pile up on you, for example, if you know your child is going back to school in the next four months, please do not wait until the week before school is scheduled to begin to be hunting down for the school supplies. Budgeting can be fun if you want it to be; you will not reap the benefits after one try, but remember, it’s a task that requires discipline, patience, and sacrifice.