Cures for the ‘budget blues’ for singles
If you’re single and want to learn about effective budgeting, then this is a great place to start. The first things you’re going to need to understand are the importance of tracking every cent, paying yourself first, and having the intestinal fortitude to make hard choices regarding your current level of spending. This will allow you to master your money situation and will put you well on your way to achieving the financial peace of mind you deserve.
Keep tabs on your cash
You really need to get into the habit of tracking every cent that passes through your hands. Now, before you run away screaming, hear us out. The last thing we want to do is encourage you to set up a budgeting system that detracts from your quality of life by requiring you to spend countless hours dealing with the mechanics of implementing it. And with modern technology, you won’t need to.
Pay yourself first
Focus on paying yourself first. This may sound counterintuitive initially and you may wonder what this has to do with budgeting. But the fact of the matter is that every effective budget needs to be built around paying yourself first, because setting money aside to achieve your long-term goals is one of the most important pieces of financial planning you will do in your life. Just how much you should pay yourself will depend on your individual circumstances, but a good rule of thumb is to aim for ten to 20 per cent of your total pay. Sure, you'll probably find the adjustment a little difficult in the first few weeks, but if you persevere with it you’ll find that you’ll settle into your new budget and won’t even notice this expense. We can’t emphasise how important this step is – make no mistake; this is the difference between achieving your financial goals and missing them like the vast majority of people are likely to do.
If you’re going to get ahead, you need to be prepared to make hard choices. Do you really need both a landline and a mobile? Is the pay TV really worth $80 a month? Can you cook at home a few more nights a week, or pack your lunch each day rather than eating out? Can you live without a car and make the most of the public transport available to you? These are the tough choices that you need to make if you’re going to make a substantial difference to the bottom line of your budget.
Hang in there
We know no one likes to talk about budgeting, much less sitting down and working on one each month, but if you’re going to have any hope of achieving your financial goals you need to master this critical skill. Setting up an effective and efficient method of tracking your expenses, paying yourself first and recognising the need to make the hard decisions and cutbacks will put you right in the position you need to be in if you’re going to start creating the foundations for a lifetime of financial security.
Want more? Take a look at the rest of our money management advice articles.
ideas and tips with the rest of the YFYM
community ... visit our live forum
to have your say!
Share your thoughts, ideas and tips with the rest of the YFYM community ... visit our live forum to have your say!
Make sure you get the latest money management advice - bookmark YFYM today!
Tags: money management, budgeting
Wilson Luna is an author, wealth adviser and founder of Your Family Your Money. Your Family Your Money’s goal is to simplify traditionally complex financial strategies, demystify financial jargon and debunk common financial myths, becoming every family’s first stop for financial advice, information and inspiration
|Go back to the list|