Lou-Ann Jordan

Personal Finances Made Simple: Budgeting Tips (Part One)

The decision to make a budget is often a New Year’s resolution goal for many, and one that is ditched early on.  Why do you ask?

For some people, bills, receipts and bank statements can accelerate the heart rate and cause beads of sweat–if not cold sweating.

Images of life in the doldrums are imagined, at the thought of budgeting, as the tendency is to expect that anything fun must be cut.  But it doesn’t have to be so.  All that is required is a plan, and a bit of determination.  This year get excited about maintaining your decision to budget.

First, keep in mind that the goal of creating a budget is so that you can adequately manage your finances.  We are aware that personal income will vary and so will budget plans.  In this issue of Personal Finance Made Simple, we begin with equipping you with helpful tips for creating a budget.  Here we go:

Take a deep breath. Try not to be overwhelmed. Focus on the goal—financial stability. Let it spur you on.

Gather all bills, receipts and statements. Keep them organised and at hand. These will help in identifying recurring expenses.

Create a ‘needs and wants’ list. Be honest, clearly distinguishing your needs from your wants. The goal is to prioritise.

Know your weaknesses.   There are choices and situations that have caused you to blow your budget in the past. Being aware of them can help you to combat urges, or come up with a viable plan.

Treat savings as an expense.   Determine the percentage you would like to save and note it on your budget as an expense.

Be realistic.   We all know the importance of saving.  However, setting impractical saving goals can result in failing at budgeting, ultimately discouraging you.

Keep at it.   Undoubtedly there are going to be moments when you feel discouraged, especially if your expenses may seem to supersede your income.  Don’t give up.

Maintaining a budget is certainly no easy task, but it can be done.  Gaining financial freedom or stability is certainly worth the challenge.

To get further information be sure to check with your financial institution.

Stay tuned for our next issue of Personal Finance Made Simple when we discuss different types of budgets, one is certain to match your personal financial goals.

Sources: Forbes Magazine and Lifehaker.