If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it has taught us that anything can happen at any time. We all need to be ready for surprise turn of events and as such, to be mindful of your expenditure and revenue sources. Whether or not you believe it, there are some basic things that everyone spends money on, though the degree of expenditure will differ from one person to the next. These basic things are needs – beyond that, what you may classify as a “need” may actually be a glorified want.
In a journal article written by Pierre Martineau, titled ‘Social Classes and Spending Behaviour’, it is argued that though income is generally used as a behavioural indicator of socialclass membership, it is one’s buying behaviour that signifies one’s class position. Your income may classify you as a member of the lower-class but your spending may give the illusion that you are middle class or even upper class. Obviously, this will be to the detriment of your debt profile.
There are a number of ways to ensure you are on top of your finances. In this article, we are sharing four with you:
Use a simple budget; The best budget is the one you can stick to. Make a budget that accounts for income, expenses, savings goals and commit to it. The truth is, it is difficult to save, especially when there is the issue multiplicity of wants. However, the scarce means of acquiring said wants (or even needs) should inspire us to choose more affordable solutions, and not necessarily branded/luxurious items.
Avoid Impulse Spending; From little purchases at the checkout stand to big buys like electronics, are all unplanned purchases that can derail your financial plan. If you ever have to say to yourself, “I work hard, I deserve a treat once in a while” you are probably about to make a purchase that you do not need to.
Keep that in mind, and discipline yourself to NOT make such expenses.
Budget for Savings; If you wait to save when you have money left from your monthly expenses, you will never build your savings. Instead of putting savings last on your financial priority list, pay yourself first. By so doing, put the money you have allocated to yourself somewhere that you will not have easy access to. This may be in a susu box, or an investment/savings account that has a limited withdrawal instruction on it.
Have an emergency fund; An emergency fund is “just in-case” money for when you have an emergency. In some parts of the world, we do not have a credit system that can bail you out when you need urgent funds.
Spend only what you earn; This is a helpful tip for those who find it difficult to save. If you only make expenses based on the amount of money you earn, things like cash gifts, donations, etc will not become part of the money you can spend. Instead, you may easily add such monies to your emergency fund or savings/ investment accounts.
There will always be somewhere to go, something to buy, something to do, some new food to eat. If you are not mindful of your spending limit, you will spend more than you can afford to. It pays to be conscious of your money and the habits that make it difficult for you to live comfortably within you means.