I’m forever writing down lists of things to do. On a daily basis I try to write down (and tick) the things I did for that particular day. It gives me a peace of mind that I did something for that day, no matter how small it is.
So when it comes to budgeting, I write down my “needs” first and later the “wants”.
For instance, a need is my rent. Then there’s my car finance and groceries. Under my groceries list, I’d have needs for my two-year-old daughter first, like her porridge and nappies. I even set an amount/ budget for groceries. Let’s say, if the groceries amount is R700 then I buy the needs first, which is my little girl’s items like the nappies.
Since I’m doing freelance work now (I was retrenched in March), I’ve decided that my child going to crèche (nursery school) is a want. She’s therefore staying at home with me until I better my income.
That was the important part for me the past few months – to identify the “wants” from the “needs”. Sometimes a “want” can seem like a “need”.
Since I’ve been unemployed, I’ve also made arrangements with my bank on how I will pay off my car finance.
I’m paying lesser than the instalment for three months, but I have to pay back the arrears when I get back on my feet. This is important because it affects my credit record at the end of the day.
So budgeting will look like this:
Write down the total of my income
Deduct the needs (rent, groceries, etc)
See what’s left over
Then with the left over I decide which “wants” I will spend it on
It’s always important to have money left over to use for unforeseen circumstances, like travelling to an unexpected job interview, for example.
Another unexpected thing that might come up, especially in Winter is the need to go to the pharmacy to get medicine.
You must decide what is deemed as an emergency (unforeseen circumstance) that you will use your “left over” money for.
I’ve realised that with this that I want to save money and in the end pay off my debt, it all has to do with my mindset. My mindset determines what’s important and what’s less important.
How do you do your budget? And in what ways do you save money?