I’m no finance guru and I won’t say I know everything but I will share with you how I managed to repay most of my debt which allowed me to move into my new apartment and hopefully soon I can say my new home. It’s easy to incur certain costs and even harder to clear up if you’re not as disciplined and intentional . Christmas is next week and I hope that you had a chance to do your Christmas shopping and were able to cop some good deals. Some people had salary cuts and some even lost their jobs. Money is tight and I want us to make the most of what we have. Covid-19 is still around and may be around for awhile so I want you to be prepared going into the new year. I want us all to review our bad money habits and make the best of 2021. I have some personal goals that I want to achieve and so far these tips have worked and I hope they will work for you too.
Let’s put a plan in place:
- Plan Ahead : I have a pretty good idea of what my income is so it’s easier for me to plan ahead. For the person who may not know exactly what th their income is I would suggest you work with what you have currently. Planning ahead allows you to make better decisions.
- Budget for the everything : It’s better to account for every area than to be met on with surprises and trust me you won’t like certain surprises especially when it comes to money. Budgeting for everything means you are in control of your money. There are certain things that are fixed and should always be in your budget Mortgage/Rent/Lease, Utilities, Transportation, Groceries, Medical, Savings you get the gist. For things you may not be aware of you can have a category called Miscellaneous.
- Track your Expenses: Every single dollar counts. Knowing where your money is going helps you to make better decisions. It allows you to put your money where it is supposed to go. If you realize that you’re spending too much money on coffee for example; purchase a bottle of coffee and make your own. Making your own coffee will save you a lot . It’s way cheaper to invest in a coffee maker and get a large bottle of coffee than to hit the coffee shop ten times per day. Think about.
- Do One Less: Earlier I mentioned coffee and they’re other things that we can do one less of or none at all. I personally had to cut down on the number of subscriptions that I was apart of monthly. Some subscriptions allows you to pause, go on every other month. Whichever you are apart of it is best to cancel or pause. This will allow flexibility with your money.
- Set Realistic Goals : If you realize that you’re spending way more on groceries than what you actually can afford then you need to revisit your grocery budget. I would also recommend that you buy in bulk and only buy what is needed. Couponing is good, it saves you a lot, I have a friend who is awesome with couponing. She knows where all the sales are and the selected days to visit the various outlets. Doing that allows her flexibility with her money which allows her to do things she likes to do.
- A budget is not fixed – Make Adjustments: Everything on your budget is not always fixed like the rent/mortgage. Revisit the budget as many times as you want.
- Budget for Savings: Pay yourself first. There are many formulas out there 50/30/20 rule (applied to your net salary): 50% going to needs 30% wants and 20% savings. This particular formula I am going to try for 2021. As it suggests 50% of your salary should be going towards your needs – needs are things that are necessary for your survival (car payments , rent , mortgage, groceries etc.) 30 % wants – things you spend on that are non essential – subscriptions, date nights, gadgets. 20 % – should be allocated for savings and investments.
- Budget for Goals – Your goals can be long term or short term. If your plan is to own a home, buy your dream car, take that vacation ; whatever it is this should be apart of your budget. Financial institutions offers clients different ways to reach their goals. It is important to set aside some money monthly, weekly if you can to meet this particular goal. It is advisable to set standing orders for your salary to be transferred into this account. This allows you comfort in knowing that the money is already allocated for and you are not tempted to use it.
- Reward Yourself : My Grandma has a saying “encouragement sweetens labor” . It’s okay to treat yourself . One coffee at the end of the week is ok, just don’t go overboard.
- Set Reminders : Reminders helps you to track your progress and figure out if things are going according to plan. The note app on your phone is a good place to set your budget there are also budgeting apps that can assist you along the way. I personally use my notes app as well as I have little stickers around my apartment to help me along the way. I also utilize my calendar app; setting due dates for bills especially helps to prevent late payments which attracts additional fees. Whatever works for you please utilize it, this keeps you grounded ultimately you will realize how much you are saving.
I really hope that these tips will help you to manage your money better in 2021 and beyond.
Do you Budget? What are some helpful tips for budgeting beginners? Do you have any particular saving goals?
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