- TRACK YOUR SPENDING
It’s probably the most difficult part of budget keeping, but it is the most important. If you do not know what you have really spent your money on, then how do you expect to know if your budget is working?
We suggest you start on payday. Add up all the cash in your pocket and in the bank. Write down the amount in a diary.
Keep a notebook and pen. Every time you spend cash, ask for a receipt. If no receipt can be given, write it in your notebook. This includes tips.
Keep all your receipts. Every day, put all receipts of the day into a separate container. At regular intervals, maybe once a month, take out the box and note the receipts in the expenses notebook.
Once your list is complete, you can identify items that you know were a waste of money, and you can become more aware of how you actually do spend your money.
- WRITE YOUR BUDGET DOWN
On the next payday you can write down how you plan to spend your money for the coming month. Use the record of your previous month’s spending as a guideline for what is realistic and what is achievable.
Highlight expenses to eliminate. Prioritise, that money to build savings or to eliminate debt. Pay this money into the savings pool or the debt pool as soon as possible.
- USE CASH ONLY
Once a week draw enough cash for the week ahead. Spend it ONLY on what your budget says. If you want something that is not on the list, do not buy it.
- CHANGE YOUR HABITS
Alcohol, tobacco, sweets and eating out are expensive. Cut these out and you will see your bills drop dramatically and your health will also improve.
- INVOLVE THE ENTIRE FAMILY
Set an incentive. If the family achieves a certain savings target over a year, there is a prize in it for everyone.
If one member spends without discipline it will defeat the purpose of your budget. Have regular family meetings to discuss, review and improve the spending habits of each family member.
- BE FLEXIBLE
Life happens! Going over budget is easy and sometimes cannot be avoided. Remember that you are on a journey and if you do your best to stick to the plan you will reach your destination no matter how many turns it takes. If you break the budget one month, you will stick to it the next.
If your budget is not making ends meet, contact us for an assessment.