Is your budgeting method keeping up with the times?
Okay so this has to be addressed. There are digital solutions for almost everything in this world. Right from ordering your groceries to enabling house cleaning, it’s all there. But when it comes to managing your income versus expenses, most often we put budgeting on the back burner simply because there are other “important” tasks that come in-between. If you’re struggling to build - and more importantly, stick to a budget, here’s something that could help. Building a watertight budget!
Now first things first, budgets are simply allocating certain amounts into certain types of expenditures so that you have a tentative idea of where your money should be going.
1. Understand the type of budgeter you are: Make your budget work for you, not the other way around. Figure out which budgeting technique works best for you. Once you have done that, build the limits to the budget. Kinda like a ceiling along with some money set aside to buffer your expenses. There will always be a few expenses that jump at you from time to time. So keep a buffer to cushion the blow. 2. Saving has to be in the DNA: You have to save whether you like it or not. Since saving doesn’t give some of us that instant gratification, we often put it off for later. But that’s a horrible idea. You need to have money for emergencies, for your future, and in case of unexpected payouts. If this is something that doesn’t come to you naturally, make it a habit by not allowing yourself any window to default. 3. Use tools that help you prioritise and track: This is where the Basis Power Card can come in, where you top-it up, prioritise, use and track your expenses super close. 4. Don’t forget inflation! We’re living in pretty crazy times. Inflation rates are skyrocketing - and prices of everything around us are on the rise. Factor in enough buffers in your budget to make sure you are keeping up with inflation. 5. Lastly, review your budgets: Are you over- or under-estimating your spends? Set up time at the end of every month to see where your money actually went, and how it aligned with where you wanted it to go. Tweak your budgets accordingly.
What does this mean for you?
While it’s all great advice on how your money should be treated, how do you begin? Let’s go through that too! 1. Divide and rule: Yup, this works. Use 2 bank accounts - one for saving and one for spending your money. Auto wire a portion of your income into the savings account from where you make all your investments as well. But make sure it is out of sight first! 2. Categorise your expenses: Compulsory spends vs non-compulsory spends. Stuff that you need for survival obviously gets priority over the other bucket. But here’s the deal, in case you have any form of debt (credit cards, loans) pay them off as a compulsory spend. Do not put that off for later.
3. Automate the process: Now that you know that portion of your income is going into savings, towards credit card and loan payments, and for other bill payments, turn auto pay mode on. What’s then left are your conscious spending habits which can be controlled as and when they occur.