Budgeting is easy once you get the hang of it. Five smart spending girls share how they regularly follow simple rules to reach their financial goals paycheck after paycheck, month after month. Be in for a surprise as you find out that all it takes is a little effort and discipline to look forward to a healthy financial year ahead. Start adjusting your spending habits now by practicing what these five bellas suggest:
1. Be conscious of your money. Tally up your savings and your expenses in a month—advises Fatima, 25, pre-school teacher. If the numbers you end up with exceed your salary’s digits, pin down which among your spending habits is causing damage to your savings. Know the estimate of your monthly outlays such as your rent, electricity and phone bills and also jot down random splurges on items such as food and clothes.
2. Control your buying power. Instead of daydreaming on how you can save millions by the time you’re due for retirement, motivate yourself more by being in control of the money you have now. Set a monthly limit on how much you can spend—says Chesca, 26, account manager. Keeping a ceiling of your expenditures gives you more power over how much you can save with every paycheck that comes your way.
3. Practice what you preach. Janika, 24, business consultant—constantly finds practical means to help minimize expenditures. Even the least effort means a lot when the goal is to save money. Preparing your own food at home can surprisingly cut your expenses in half. Minimizing gas consumption also eases the wallet. Share a car with your siblings if you’re en route to the same area, or opt to walk to a nearby meet-up to avoid car park traffic jams.
- 4. Avoid the debt trap. That’s a basic rule Cindy, 24, shop coordinator—carries out. It’s actually easier now that there are more options on taking care of your monthly income. Sign up for direct savings wherein the bank automatically transfers a fixed amount of your income to your money stash. As your savings accumulate, reward yourself with a debit card instead of a credit card. This way, you are encouraged to buy within your financial range and discouraged from unnecessary impulsive buys.
5. Set your financial goals. Be the woman with the money plan. More importantly, make sure you convert your ideas into action, emphasizes Isabel, 25, IT consultant. Start by following a weekly budget list, and then set off a monthly target. The task may be daunting at first but you’ll eventually enjoy what you do. You wouldn’t even notice that you’ve successfully put up a realistic budget plan for the entire year. Let the habit slip into your day-to-day consciousness, and reap rewards of having a financial cushion during crucial times. Having extra money gives any independent woman a real peace of mind.