‘Budget’ the six letter word, holds the secret to a financially successful life. They say ‘ Money can’t buy happiness’ but I do personally believe that though money cannot buy happiness, it has the capacity of fetching almost everything which you need to be happy.
Not convinced? Let’s take a tour on money management.
Money management is an art. It is not the amount of money which you earn in a month makes you rich; being rich is just about using your money in an appropriate way. When money is used sensibly, it becomes your best servant and brings all the comforts of life.
The preferable way of managing money is living on a budget. The very common query of almost every person’ how to make a monthly budget’ is revealed here. A budget means when you plan how to spend the money in coming days and not about wondering where it has gone. A proper budget should have a room for everything i.e. daily needs, emergency fund, payments & bills, savings, investment, recreation (which I call fun fund), miscellaneous etc. Being on budget according to me is just the right division of the money and stick to it until getting the next available resource.
The monthly budget of one family should not be compared to other families as every family is different in terms of is the number of members, the locality and so on. The budget of every family is a unique one.
Today with my personal experience, I will share some of the common tips which will make you stick to your budget without any pressure while making no compromise at enjoying the life.
The best way of starting a budget is getting rid of EMIs, bills, rents etc. Every person has to pay some fixed payment every month such as electricity bill, mobile bills, loan EMIs (if any) etc. These are the fixed payment which one cannot avoid. After paying all those, now whatever left with you is your money which you can use according to your needs.
In between payments and expenditure, it stands the ‘saving’. While discussing savings, I remember one of the successful American businessman Mr Warren Buffett who’s quotes always inspires me. He quoted,” Do not to save after spending but spend after saving.” This quote touched me and out of curiosity, I have applied both aspects of the matter to my small family budget. The month when I start spending before saving, I found at the end of the month that there are only chunks left to save. The very next month soon after the payments are over, I kept the amount which we planned to save in a separate account. In the beginning, I was a bit worried if I would be able to complete the month without any financial hiccups. But to my surprise, the month ended well without any financial crises. I learned the lesson that- when you have some extra money in the wallet whether in form of cash or plastic money, you are tempted to spend it. But when money is limited, you will be forced to control your temptations. Saving Money is more or less about self-control.
Next to savings it comes to the expenditure of daily needs such as grocery and staples. These are the basic need and one must have enough fund for this segment. One must take care so that the quality products come to your home. The best way to save some money lies in having a ‘research’. We often search for the offers on those items. Tracking the expense of daily needs can be done easily with a monthly marketing. Another trick which I learned from my granny is to buy your grocery slightly more than which you actually need. Purchasing little more every month make you spend a month without or with a very less quantity of staples. So that month you can save a good amount of money. So the extra money in that particular month can be used for a small holiday ( if not at least a day out) without any changes on the monthly budget.
‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’, true to the words one must take keep some space for entertainment too. Being on the budget, making money, saving money all on one hand and your precious relationships are on another hand. One must spend some quality time with their beloved ones to keep the relationship fresh forever. Whether it may be a dinner date with the girlfriend, shopping with the spouse, taking kids to the amusement park, visiting pilgrims with parents or just a long drive all by yourself but some sort of going slightly beyond the track is necessary even for performing better at work . As I said one need to spend some quality time with their beloved ones, he/she needs to spend some money too. An ideal budget must have some amount for recreation. One can even assemble two months’ Fun Fund’ and can go better experience.
The next comes ’emergency’ or the unexpected expenses. Such expenses may come or may not come within a month but keeping some amount exclusively for emergencies it a must do for every family.
All those we have discussed above is all about how one should manage their money to spend a smooth life. Now we will focus on how to make your money grow. If you are thinking that you are keeping some money as your savings so after some years you will be rich then to your disappointment, that cannot happen. Along with savings, one must have some investment to grow their money at a rapid pace. It really doesn’t much matter how much you invest but it should be regular. A famous economist said that- someone is sitting in the shade because someone planted a tree long ago. A little investment today will bring wonderful returns for you and your next generations too provided you have invested the money in the right way and nurtured it. So every person with a high aspiration must do some investment for a better future. An investment is a must have a criterion for an ideal budget.
A life on a budget is not at all like being under pressure. It actually liberates you to reach higher goals. I have come across many persons who are poor not because they earn less but they don’t know how to manage their money well. My personal experience says that the small expenses are the biggest slips. Neglecting the small expenses are just like a small hole in the ship which can sink a big ship it not taken care at the right time. Being watchful while spending is important to make your budget a successful one.