Hello Everyone, I hope everyone is well and happy. I would like to blog about something very personal and that is money. Budgeting and keeping track of my expenses had helped me through some of the most difficult times in life. I started budgeting a few years ago for 2 years, knowing where every cent went and that has helped in tracking my expenses. However, due to laziness and being too comfortable as I have reached my goals, I did not continue budgeting and tracking my expenses. The followings are the joy I find in budgeting and tracking my expenses.
- Knowing where your money go. I initially started by using a piece of Kikki.K note pad to record every cent spent in the household. I will divide my expenses into a few sections and they are Groceries (Cant live without food), Eating out, Petrol, Rent/Mortgage and maintenance. A specific amount of money will be allocated to each section, e.g., I remembered allocating $120 to eating out per month for 2 person and we ended up eating at the same cheap restaurant every week and we really enjoyed it. I started to use an app on my phone to record my expenses since January 2017 (currently using ASIC’s Money Smart Track my Spend), that was very handy too. I then enter all the data into my excel spreadsheet and analyse the credits and debits for the whole month. That is fun too, especially when I am not an accountant. I was shocked at the end of January as I realised the amount of money that was spent on a month-to-month basis.
- Making the decision on what not to buy. Now that I have realised that I have spent X amount on average monthly, I will then reflect and think if that is good enough. If it is good, we will keep it that way, if not, I will sit down with my husband after dinner, that’s when serious conversation happens in my house. We will then look through the expenses and decide on what not to buy next time. Eg, I have noticed that I tend to buy yoghurt whenever they are on sale and not being able to finish them, and it goes to the bins, it was such a waste. I then decided not to buy big tubs of yoghurt, I would buy smaller tubs of yoghurt even though it may cost a little bit more and limit myself to a certain amount of tubs I can buy in a week. That worked well because I am not wasting food and still get to eat my yoghurt. In addition, I have also slashed all junk food from my grocery. I replace them with fresh fruits and nuts.
- Saving and budgeting towards a mutual goal. This little project can be fun and heartbreaking at the same time. It is fun and rewarding when you have saved more than you have budgeted (Make sure the budget is realistic). I will normally use that money to buy some nice food for dinner, go for movies or save it after discussing with my husband. It is heartbreaking when one is unable to stick to the budget due to some unforseen circumstances, which I am experiencing currently. We had to service our car and get those tyres changed, $$$, had to pay our annual council fees, $$$, my husband decided to buy a new phone, $$$. It is just bad timing altogether but, oh well, that’s what emergency funds are for (be sure to replace the emergency funds once they are used). I am also on a makeup and skincare ban as I will use that money towards my splurge in Japan very soon. Am I feeling sorry for myself for not buying the latest makeup/skincare, not at all, because I know I will buy a lot more when I am in Japan and I know I will feel worse if i don’t allow myself to buy in Japan.
Images from google. Thanks for reading. What do you do to save money and budget? I would love to hear from you. Till next time, =)