A Wise Budget for a Happy Future
The moment when you finally realize that you do not spend your money well can be both stressful and inspiring. The stress comes in many forms: noticing that you have less money than you thought you had in your pocket, or having to forego luxuries for the sake of paying overdue bills. But the realization also presents you with the opportunity to change your life for the better by improving your planning, budgeting, spending and saving habits.
Poor spending habits start with poor planning. If you do not precisely plan out what you will and will not be, you will soon find yourself making unexpected – and often unnecessary – purchases. Continuing down this path will forego any structured, purposeful spending habits, and will eventually land your bank account and credit in disrepair. Planning your purchases beforehand using a strict budget instead will help reduce your stress and make your life easier.
Successful budgeting 101
Instead of spending whenever you feel a desire, create a realistic, responsible budget, and itemize your intended purchases when you make planned trips to the store. Successful budgeting means examining your real needs and desires under the light of your current income. Your income is already precisely defined; other than bonuses, you know how much you make.
Your real needs are sustenance through food products, comfort through health products, shelter, things that facilitate your ability to earn an income, and savings and responsible investments so that you have something to fall back on in an emergency or in retirement. The secondary part of your budget consists of items and services that make you happier through their use. These are things you want, but do not truly need in order to survive and thrive.
Adjusting and using your budget
In order to spend your money wisely, you are not expected to remove any items or services from the first, necessary portion of your budget. Adjust your budget for the month due to unexpected price increases, and use the secondary, pleasure spending portion of your budget to make up for the additional expense. In the event of emergency expenses, use either your emergency fund or the secondary portion of your budget. If you find your budget to be unrealistic, adjust it for the next month as necessary.
Properly defining your budget and keeping your spending within it will give you confidence in your fiscal responsibility and the ability to obtain and experience everything your income allows. A shopping list will be your means of purchase planning. Purchasing the items on your list – and only the items on your list – removes the possibility of unexpected or frivolous purchases, eliminating both monetary and mental stress.
Making good shopping decisions
How often you go to the store each week is usually strongly correlated with your planning methodology, and thus has a relationship with your spending habits. The ability to plan your shopping trips for an entire week will structure and simplify your activities while likely also making your shopping trips more efficient and purposeful. This will greatly decrease the chance of loose spending through unplanned store visits, and will reinforce your ability to stay within your budget.
One of the most important choices you can make when planning your shopping is where you shop. That will determine your travel expenses, product selection, and product price. Your store of preference may be based on the purchasing power product prices give you as well as the quality of products your budget allows. Choose stores that are relevant in product availability and price to help you make responsible purchase decisions. With knowledge of store offerings, you will exercise proper spending habits, eliminating wasteful spending through inefficient item purchasing.
Often, product selection is just as important as product price. This is because the quality of products often dictates their utility and longevity of use. For pleasure goods and services, the enjoyment you receive is the indicator of their worth; so make a conscious effort to understand the enjoyment you receive from such goods in order to help you decide which one to purchase.
Reducing wasteful spending
Finally, the manner in which you use the products and services can be just as important as your decisions in buying them. Food waste, improper garment washing, poor vehicle maintenance and unnecessary electricity usage all waste money in the long run. Take time to observe your wasteful habits, then make small, forward-looking steps towards reducing them, such as:
– To save food, invest in tupperware and Ziploc bags and save leftovers in the freezer.
– To save utilities, turn off lights when not in use, put your water heater on a time and avoid peak electricity usage.
– To save on rent, consider subletting a room or putting part of your home on AirBnB.
When you begin to see the results of your efforts, be proud of yourself! In a world in which we are substantially dependent on our finances for enjoyment, we have a responsibility to ourselves to understand how to manage them properly. Compared to your life as a wasteful person, your new life as a thrifty person will lead to a brighter, more hopeful, more successful future.
Bharat Rawat is a SEO Manager in renowned digital marketing agency. He has 5 year of experience in digital marketing arena. He also has a huge network of guest bloggers. He has done search engine optimization for many big brands like AIMA, McDonalds, Lal Path Labs, Wagga Wagga, Toshiba AC, Hardware Homes, McDonalds, Medela, Merino Laminates, Alpha Corp, Dr. Morepen Now and many more. Catch him if you need any help regarding guest blogging or digital marketing.