You get a great paycheck but your bank account is drained by the end of the month, sounds familiar?! If this is you, then you’re missing an important keyword from your financial vocabulary, “Budgeting”.
“Budgeting” is an approach of knowing how much you can save for yourself and for your family after paying all your necessary expenses from your Salary. The #1Rule that everyone must follow is to “Live within your means” i.e. one must try to keep their monthly expenses less than or at least equal to what one earns each month. However, following this rule is easier said than done and people often end up finding themselves broke by the end of the month.
This article will guide you how to live your month end happily by following these simple steps:
1. Know Your Income
Knowing your annual salary isn’t enough to help you “Live within your means”. You must always check your CTC to know the Net Income that gets credited to your bank account every month. You must also know when your salary gets credited in order to match your monthly bills and payments.
2. Know Your Limitations
Once you know how much you earn, you need to estimate how much you can spend in a month on your “Needs” and “Wants”.
“Needs” include the basic necessities that every individual requires to spend on which must be given the top priority and should be paid first without keeping any dues before you spend your money on your “Wants”.
“Needs” include the following:
a) House Rent or Mortgage Payments
b) Internet Bills
c) Maid’s Salary
e) Insurance Premiums
f) Travel Expenses
g) Grocery Expenses
h) Food Expenses
“Wants” are your personal desires that you want to fulfill.
They include – “Going out with friends for movies or for a long trip”; “Buying a newphone or a laptop” or even “Going to a 5-star hotel for a luxurious dinner”. Unlike “Needs”, you can control how much to spend on your “Wants”.
For example, your wish to buy a high-end laptop worth Rs. 80,000 to Rs. 1 lakh is a “Want” whereas buying a laptop worth Rs. 45,000 to Rs. 50,000 will do the work. It is very important that you recognize and separate your “Wants” from your “Needs” because people quite often make the mistake considering their wants as their needs.
3. Keep It Simple
For many people, keeping track of their daily expenses and preparing a budget out of it is a difficult task. Like money, time is precious and we must use it efficiently. You can prepare a simple budget by knowing what your previous monthly expenses were just by looking at the transactions from your bank account statement. Using one debit card for all transactions helps tracking easier. You can also automate your basic expense payments through Paytm or Google Pay thereby avoiding dues.
4. Get an Emergency Fund
The future is unpredictable. One might lose his/her job due to downsizing in the company and it might take 3 to 6 months to get a new job. As bad as it may sound, facing such a situation is really important. Therefore, it is always advisable to allocate a part of your income, after paying your necessary expenses, in a fixed deposit or in liquid funds so that you are prepared in advance to overcome such situations. It is advisable to set aside some portion of your earnings for an emergency fund before spending on your “Wants”.
A financially stable lifestyle can lead you to a brighter future and the first step towards achieving that is “Budgeting”. Having a happy month end is easy if you know “What to spend on”, “How to spend on” and “When to spend on them”. The good thing is that its never too late to start when you are in your 20s. Digitalization of payments have now made our life simpler. You will know you are having a “Happy Month End” when you follow this mantra:
“Earn. Save. Invest. Repeat.”