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Budget your Spends

4 minsNovember 05, 2016

There is no dearth to spending, what with sales, discounts and new restaurants to lure us. But budgeting becomes crucial, so that while you spend, you also don’t forget to live comfortably!

  • Make your salary last longer
    • We all know that feeling: the one of our salary vanishing as soon as it comes in. Every month, you decide to plan and make your money last the entire month, make big plans to start saving, but somehow manage to end up a little short. Well, this is a problem worth your attention. And there is a simple solution to it.
    • The solution lies in carefully planning and prioritising your finances, prioritising your spends, and saving small amounts systematically. And yes, it actually is that simple! While planning your budget, here's what you need to know to make your salary last longer.
  • Make a financial plan
    • It’s important for you to identify your cash flow; so start by analysing your bank statements of the previous few months and list down your earnings and your expenses. If your expenses exceed your earning, you are susceptible to fall into debt. Next, categorise your expenses and identify the bare essentials: rent, grocery, bills, etc. Prioritize these expenses and for your remainder budget, arrive at an upper limit for each category of spends – fuel, dining, shopping, etc.
  • Track your spends
    • Once you’ve identified an upper limit for each spend category, break it down basis weeks: you can also further break it down in to weekdays and weekends. There are multiple online calculators which help you monitor and track your spends, and notify you if you are close to busting your weekly/daily budget. Remember, do not share any personal banking information on such calculators.

  • I started budgeting very early. I used to get a set pocket money, so I used to ration my spending. This habit continued when I started working. Eventually, I shared it with my son. What happened was that I managed along with my husband, to give ourselves the perfect life. All this required a lot of study, but it was all worth it. Having a dedicated savings account, FD and RD always helps in meeting your financial goals.

    Rina Jha, Lawyer

  • Sharing is caring (for your wallet)
    • There are several ways in which you can manage your expenses without it impacting your lifestyle. For example, instead of driving to work in your car every day, join a car pooling service. You will meet new people, make new friends, and also save considerably on fuel. You can opt for a shared mobile connection with your friends and family to avail of CUG (closed-user-group) benefits.
  • Scout for the best deals
    • Keep an eye out on offers and deals on your credit and debit cards. Most cards offer discounts on a wide variety of products and services, right from grocery shopping to dining to movies and fuel. Also, spending with your credit/debit cards earns you reward points/miles, which you can redeem for online bookings, vouchers, and free tickets!
  • Start small with savings
    • Start a saving habit early in your career to make the most of compounding. This means that the sooner you start saving, the larger the corpus you build. Also, having a contingency fund will also help you in an event of a medical emergency or any unexpected event. Keep aside a fixed amount every month and invest regularly and systematically. You can start with an amount as low as Rs. 500 and invest it in SIPs, mutual funds, etc.

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