Do you have millions of naira or even dollars sitting pretty and waiting for you to spend as you like? If your answer is no, then that word ‘Budgeting’ may be your ticket to saving more in the New Year.
Why? Because when you budget wisely, you will not only be able to account for all your money, but you may also be able to save towards a pressing goal or just towards your future.
Now, don’t consider this a damper on all the fun you plan to have with your hard-earned money, instead look at it as a deliberate plan that helps you live within your means yet plan towards the life you dream of.
But enough of all the talk, let’s get down to practical ways you can create and maintain your budget every month:
How much do you make monthly?
First, you need to have a constant inflow of income. Before you draw up a budget, calculate how much you take home. It doesn’t matter if you work a 9-5 and rely only on your salary or you are an entrepreneur with money ‘falling’ on you from many sources, calculate how much you earn. When you know this, you can tell yourself the truth about what you can afford, what you must save and what will make you owe ‘gbese’ if you dare to go for it.
Know what you are spending on
Secondly, list those things you definitely have to take care of like – rent, school fees, insurance, house-keeping/feeding, utilities, fuel etc. Now that you have that out of the way, where does the rest of your money go?
Do you spend a lot on shopping, hanging out with friends, recharging for premium bouquet on DSTV (when you really can make do with the compact plus bouquet) buying more human hair or even buying asoebi for weddings? Take note of that. Check your spending history to know your different categories of spending.
Set a fixed percentage for all you plan to spend on
Now you’ve made your list and figured out where all your money goes on a regular basis. What you need to do next is minus the ‘needs’ we mentioned earlier from your monthly income. Then divide what remains amongst all the other things you plan to spend on. Whether you plan to invest, save or pamper yourself, decide how the remaining money you have will service these needs/wants.
This way, your priorities are managed, savings intact and your money put to work.
Once you establish a solid spending plan, use the awesomeness of technology to send your money to the right places before you even see it. For instance, you can set up a direct debit for your savings or even investment so that each month when payday comes, a fixed amount of money is transferred there. This will help you relax and save or invest without putting in the back-breaking manual work or even forgetting.
Bottom-line: Budgeting is about owning your income and being intentional about how you spend it. Yes, many ‘wants’ often masqueraded as ‘needs’ will surface to sap your money, but when you forget the temptation of now and spend only what you must, let go of what you can and save/invest what you’ll need tomorrow, you can have a comfortable life you can be proud of.
If a little sacrifice today can mean living debt-free with a constant flow of income and some good savings, isn’t it worth it?
Interested in starting a savings plan? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0700 CALL ARM for further assistance.