|The "Can I really stick to the budget?" face 😆|
For some, budgeting seems useless, because already the money is not enough. That's exactly why we should budget: to make sure that we take care of our needs and priorities first before using the money in luxury or wherever we want to use it.
Of course, one the solution is to have more than one source of income. That does not necessarily mean 2 jobs, unless you have the grace for that I suppose. But for now, let's look into the benefits and ability of being able to stick to the budget with your current income.
Benefits of budgeting
Benefit 1: Budgeting helps to know exactly how much you can spend - what your limit is, so that you avoid spending to the extent of being left with almost nothing before your next income. I mentioned on the earlier blogpost on this topic, blogpost 18: Financial education: budgeting , that it helps to budget a little more than the exact amount of the expense. We all know more or less how much our expenses are, as we spend on them every month. So we can over-budget a little bit, just to be on the safe side.
I recently went to Clicks for toiletries, and to my surprise, I spent over R100 less than what I budgeted! Do you know how much of a relief that is - to know that there is extra money you can use elsewhere?!
Benefit 2: The other benefit of budgeting is making sure that all your needs are met first. There's nothing as devastating as spending your money only to find that there are monthly needs that need to be taken care of. Such needs like transport to work and church, food, toiletries, electricity, etc. - all the things you need throughout the whole month, can't be compromised. They are necessities that cannot be compromised. Think about how it is to live without such things. I've been there - not pleasant at all!
Ability to stick to the budget
|We can do this thing man! Look up, like a boss! 😎|
It's one thing to budget, it's another to actually stick to it. My oh my! For the past months, I'll honestly say I did not even try to stick to my budget. Here's why: I did not allocate a specific amount of money to my expenses, so I couldn't even consciously stick to a certain amount of money as I spent on my needs. As a result, I ended up spending more than I was supposed to, which meant that the money finished quickly before month end. Not good. But we learn, right?
So, this month I was off to a great start! I'll share some ways to help you to actually stick to your budget:
Ability 1: Once you have estimated and over-bugeted a little for all your needs, keep in mind the exact amount budgeted for each expense. That way when you go to the shops, you will know how much you can spend and limit yourself. Watch out for those "buy 2 and get 1 free" promotions. If it will take you off your budget, DON'T go for it. If it's within your budget, it's a bonus! The item will last you longer, meaning you have more money next month to spend on other needs/to save for something/ to keep for any emergencies. That's what happened to me when I bought at Clicks! Yeayh me! Lol!
Ability 2: If you shop at shops like Pick 'n Pay and Clicks, make sure you get the Smartshopper card, Clicks clubcard - all these cards that earn you shopping points. Besides the fact that they keep track of what is bought the most so that the items are always on stock, they actually help us financially, too. Those earn you points that turn into money. Every time you buy from there, swipe those cards and accumulate points. They help to reduce the money you spend when you decide to use the points. It's a great way to help to spend less than budgeted.
Ability 3: Make sure you scratch out what you actually buy from your list, so that when you did not find what you budgeted for at one shop, you still keep the money budgeted for it, to avoid spending that money. To leave it in the list will keep you alert of the fact that you still need to keep money for some needs.
Ability 4: This is something I mentioned on the previous post on this topic: do not rush to finish all the money you saved from the budget. There are unexpected expenses that you may come across during the month.
Ability 5: Do not buy what you did not budget for, unless you're buying from the money left if you didn't reach the amount budgeted for. This one requires discipline! In fact, it should be easy, because you know how much you will struggle if you spend more than budgeted. I learnt it the hard way myself! Don't do it! And it's normal to actually borrow money, but the concern about that is you are already not earning enough. Now, you will need to pay back, after which you'll end up with less than what you usually have, which is already not enough. Let that be your motivation to stick to the budget.
Well, I certainly hope that helps. Remember, this is not motivation to live within your means forever - as I mentioned, one solution is to have more than one source of income. This is simply advice and motivation on how you can work with what you have.
Do share your thoughts, experiences and advice on this topic. You can follow and share on the blog's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Student-talk-blog-For-learners-and-students-496094020519505/.
Until the next post 😊.