Hovering around your overdraft at the end of every month can be disheartening. You try to shift your debt, save for a rainy day and have some money left over in the family kitty but things never seem to work out quite as you’d hoped. A couple of days before your paycheck is due to hit your bank account, your funds have dried up. This can be especially hard when your kids want to see an expensive attraction like their friends have or want the latest gadgets and gizmos to keep up with their pals. Budgeting could be the answer to your financial problems. While filling out a spreadsheet each month in itself isn’t going to make you rich, this act will help you manage your money in a more effective way for the whole family.
You don’t need to be an Excel guru to create a personal budget. A simple template from huffingtonpost.com will suffice. Simply list all of your income and outgoings. Your expenditure needs to encompass everything from the fuel you put in your family car to the chewing gum you bought on your way to work. It may take a few months to spy any patterns, but it will become clear which areas you can shave from your outgoings. You don’t need that gym membership you never use, and you could probably do without your weekly cinnamon swirl that you pick up on a Saturday morning. While these might seem insignificant amounts, they can add up to make a substantial saving. This can then go towards debt repayment or into your disposable income kitty to fund your fun with the family.
If you are burdened with debt from credit cards or store cards, don’t bury your head in the sand in the hope that your responsibilities will go away. They won’t. Instead, tackle them head-on by going to a site like consolidation.creditcard and applying for a loan that can see all of your debts morphed into one monthly payment. The headache of multiple direct debits leaving your account will end, and you can lessen the monthly repayment to give you a better quality of life. The debt may take longer to shift, but if you are content with the routine, this may enable you to save more and plan for the future.
Take a look at your paycheck alongside any other income you may receive each month and try to save at least five per cent of this. By sticking to this ratio, you can watch a nest egg build and grow into something more substantial over the months. Seeing your financial situation become a little more buoyant will help you remain motivated to be proactive with your debt management, savings and disposable income.
While budgeting might seem like a simple concept, to get it right you need to be disciplined and willing to make sacrifices to achieve a healthier financial situation. If you can commit to this, you will soon be mastering the art of budgeting.