On How To: Budget Successfully.
Simply put, Budgeting is a process of creating a plan on ways to spend and save money. It is an itemized estimate of income and expense over a given period of time, mostly in the future. Some plan a budget for a span of one or two months into the future while others years into the future. Budgeting is something most people want to engage in but find it difficult if not almost impossible to achieve. Have you ever wondered why budgeting isn’t always so easy? Ever wondered why you start so firmly and faithfully but one or two months down the road and you are done with it? Well, we are here to help you figure this out as we bring specially to you the tips and tricks of budgeting that have proven to actually work. Over the next couple of 'On How To' articles, we shall discuss broadly on this topic. We hope that they help you not only to budget but to budget successfully.
Well, it's safe to say that nothing really can be achieved to the maximum if proper mind-set and will are not incorporated. It's one thing to want to achieve something and it's another thing to have the will and passion for it. Without this, the next steps may be completely irrelevant to you. Having a will is an important step before you can commence a budget lifestyle. So let’s put on our will and passion jackets as we begin to discuss.
Ever heard of 'Kakeibo'? It's a traditional budgeting system in Japan that has been in existence since 1904. This system has been sworn by many to be very effective and productive over time. The main feature it has is the use of “pen and paper”; like an actual money journal and for this, only 2 journals are required. A big one for your actual budgeting task and a small one as a carry on journal where you write every single thing you buy right after you pay for it. It's believed that the brain keeps information written on paper better than when it is typed. So this method is encouraged so that you can remember how much minus you have right when you are about to buy that bag you really don’t need.
OSBS (Operation save before spending):
This is where many have difficulty following. It's not enough to just save and return for a rescue fund. Saving before spending is the ideal way to ensure you are indeed saving and not keeping a large sum of rescue or emergency fund. Some of the best ways to save include: saving in a fixed deposit account, sealed envelops, piggy bank (or what my people, Nigerians, call 'kolo'). The kolo has been in existence over the years and is still very much in use. It has proved over time to be really effective and reliable. This is what I use and it has been working for me.
P.S: A big one you cannot fill and is really expensive is the best!)
This is when you write in your journal every bill and expense that you cannot risk owing. Things like Rent, utility bills, transportation, Food, loan payment and the likes. This is to help you see the exact places your money should go when it comes and will also help you know when you are off track.
The diagram shows the living expense of a single lady living in Berlin, Germany. Notice here that she has no mechanical needs. For car or cycle owners the emergency fund should also include unplanned repairs. Also, we notice that she has an income shortfall i.e. her savings are lower than her expenses which is not so healthy. But she is saving regardless.
GROCERY AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING:
In a 2016 research was carried out on impulse buying, it was discovered that a large part of impulse buying was found in shopping for groceries, household supplies and fashion (in an orderly format.) It's known by many that a shopping list is needed for precise shopping but many fail in this aspect and claim to have a list on their minds, a list that may be completely forgotten once entry into the store is made. The importance of a list for anything and everything cannot be overemphasized. It helps you know the exact things you need to get in a store, helps you not to get distracted thereby helping you save money.
Budgeting in my own opinion is a lifestyle that should be adopted by any and everyone, especially for low-income earners, impulse buyers, high-income earners, large-sized families and the likes. This is because budgeting helps to make readjustment to spending hence creating a medium where saving can be possible.
I hope this post was able to help you in starting something today. If a change must happen, it starts today. Kindly stick around as we will discuss 5 more tips on how to budget successfully and you can also share your ways of budgeting in the comment section below. Until then, stay blessed!