You can still have fun while on a budget. The basic idea is to put you in control of your money and not the other way around.
Budgeting is not about depriving yourself of having fun, buying your favorite brand or making your life boring and miserable. If that is what you think creating a budget means, you have not really understood its meaning. That is the primary reason your budget plan doesn’t work. Your budget plan should actually be a guide to help you manage your finances. Chances are you have a fixed income so, if you don’t allocate this money properly, you will end up falling short on something or the other.
Let us put it this way, an individual might spend the first 20 days of a month very well, feeling like the king/ queen of the world. The remaining 10 days might be spent worried about spending even a single penny. This is the result of poor or no budgeting.
Without further wait, here’s what you should do to make a budget plan that works:
- Ensure that all payments towards loans, investments, insurance etc. are done at the start of every month. This way, you’ve money in hand to meet further expenses or save more.
- Identify your basic expenses such as house rent, electricity bill, grocery expenses etc.
- Assess your other financial and personal goals. These could be planning to buy a new TV, joining a gym or taking music classes.
- Set down the limit for fun money whether it is for going out to dinner, a movie or grabbing a coffee from the neighborhood café.
- Learn to say no to anything that messes up your budget. There is no try; you need to stick to your budget. Otherwise, you may spend another few months playing the fixer-upper yet again!
- Check for any leaks in your budget. For instance, you may have subscribed for both cable and online streaming. In case, you are not using one of them, it is time to end the subscription.
- Set up an emergency fund. Since life is unpredictable, you never know what extra expenses may come your way. For instance, your laptop’s hard drive may crash and need repair. An emergency fund might save you from going off the grid again.
All you have to do is be responsible, practice some self-control and make sure that the budget you create matches your personality. Just keep this mantra in mind: ‘You control your money, it does not control you.’