Mastering your monthly spending

Have you wver put together a personal budget for the umpteenth time and sworn that this time you were going to stick to it? If so, you are not alone. To suddenly start counting the pennies after a lifetime of spending does not come easiy?

An approach to budgetting starts with identifying your total monthly income after taxes, as well as all your expenditure, list every single item you could possibly spend money on, including buying gifts, going out and how much you intend putting away for savings or investments. Once you have listed these items, you might find that your expenditure is higher than your income-as sure sign that you are livimg above your means.

Start trimming your expenditurw by questioning that necessity of each expense, and cut ad many as possiblr down until your expenditure balances with your income.

Once your budget is decided on, you may find it difficult to stick to. Here are some ideas for living within budget:

Remember why you are doing this

Keeping your goal in mind will motivate you to stick to your budget and fight the urge to break it. Picture the dream cat you ate saving for, or the lifestyle you can lead when you have reached your goal.

Be prepared for unplanned expenses

These include a rise in interest rates and unforseen home repairs. To deal with unforeseen costs, you nees to include a miscellaneous category in your budget.

Budget for others

If you have to support the needs of your extended family, ensure you budget for this. Set a monthly ceiling and try and ensure you do not exceed it.

Be realistic

A major budget buster is having a budget that is unrealistic or too tight. Remember that there is no rule that says your budget is set in stone-+ if you realise it is impossible to follow, revisit it.

Reward yourself

If you have stuck to your budget and achieved certain goals, consider giving yourself a treat every now and then. It doesn’t have to cost too much, but should be something you will enjoy–something that will keep you going. You could build a reward, like going out for dinner or to the movies once a month into your budget.

Remembet that the closer you sick to your plan, the more quickly you will achieve your goal.

We all have big changes in our lives that are more or less a second chance

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