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Feb 25 2010

Prepare Your Personal Budget and Then Stick To It

Posted in General, Property Finance

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Manage your money like a business using discipline and common sense draw up a budget of your monthly income and expenses, to ensure a sound financial future.

Working with a personal budget puts you in control of your money, helping you achieve your savings goals; or if you’re in debt, a budget is a proven way of alleviating your situation.

Make a commitment to your financial future and start a budget today. Here’s a guide to doing it:

THE REWARD IS WORTH THE EFFORT!

Putting together a home budget will take a bit of research and a couple of hours work, but this time and small amount of work can be really worth the effort.

When drafting your budget you have the following tasks:

  • List ALL your expenses.
  • Prioritise your expenses into –
    • A’s: Current needs that you can do nothing about now.
    • B’s: Current needs that you can do something about now.
    • C’s: Your wants and desires.
  • Budget first for A’s, then for B’s, and whatever is left over can be planned for spending on C’s.

Click here to download a useful budget

TIPS ON MAKING A SUCCESSFUL WORKING BUDGET

  • Couples must together prepare and commit to their budget.
  • Budget for EVERYTHING, including all:
    • Unforeseen expenses (e.g. medical – use last year’s figure divided by 12)
    • Irregular expenses (e.g. yearly subscriptions, vacations, etc. – if you are unsure use last year’s figures divide by 12)
    • Changes in living situation.
  • Savings should be planned for treated as an expense (A good guideline to save 10% of your income).
  • Utilise stop orders or automatic withdrawals for your saving, recurring expenses and tax (if applicable).
  • Compare your actual expenditure against your budget weekly.

IT IS NOT ABOUT MAKING MORE MONEY!

Contrary to what many may believe, making more money seldom solves the problem of poor financial discipline. Although the desire to make more money is both acceptable and justifiable … financial discipline is not about making more money. It is about being responsible with your spending. This is achieved by keeping your expenses – month after month – within your income, consistently and deliberately.

Ascertain why you overspent in certain areas and take corrective action (which could range from eating more home-cooked meals to cutting up your credit card).

You can make adjustments to your budget but don’t be too generous as this will defeat the purpose. If you are within your budget, the surplus can make good any shortfall from another month.

Remember the most important thing in budgeting is sticking to it!

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