It is literally some days to the beginning of all the festivities! I am sure we can all agree that this incoming period is designed to make us spend rather than save; yet as we walk this journey of Personal Finance; we know that we need to make tough decisions in order to manage the resources that we have.
If you are a regular on this street, you can attest to the fact that ‘budgeting’ is one of the consistent things we talk about. This we do because it is almost impossible to truly walk the path of creating wealth without getting familiar and deeply enmeshed in the culture of budgeting.
Without over emphasizing it, Budget is a powerful tool that can help identify your financial habits and whether good or bad; a good and realistic budget brings this to the fore. There is no greater time than now with the unpredictable economic situation to ensure that one really lives within the confines of a budget.
Planning for a new year does not start on the last day of December or the first month of next year, rather it starts now. Here are 3 reasons to start your planning now.
1. Start Your Emergency Fund
What a good budget does is it helps itemize what expenses are and with this comes clarity as you begin to eliminate unnecessary expenses; then it frees up your money to allow you save more. An emergency fund is needed especially in a country like Nigeria where nothing is really promised or predictable.
It is imperative you remember that an “Emergency savings and rainy-day funds are pillars of having a healthy financial plan”. It provides you with peace of mind and the ability to focus on other goals - Brett Tharp
2. One step right in front of the other
Starting a budget now may not be a popular culture for you now and perhaps you may be wondering how limiting it will be. Think of it as a way to be able to track your money. No more what did I spend my money on or wondering what thin air the money is going to. With a consistent approach to understanding what you spend money on; it is easy to use this to balance out what your income is.
There are no perfect budgets. You may find it difficult to let go of some habits as you design your 2022 budget; the goal is to learn the ropes one day at a time; to come to a place of knowledge of knowing what takes the chunk of your income and put a label to them as either needs or wants. As we imbibe the culture of budgeting; it becomes second nature and one is able to plan for bigger goals and have a road map to put them to action.
3. Protection for yourself and loved ones
Initiating your 2022 budget now is the perfect way to plan for a future you desire. Knowing what your expenses and incomes are allows you know what you need to do and how you need to do it. It allows you evaluate your financial decisions and how they have reflected whether positively or negatively on you.
Budgeting Is a weapon that can serve you and your loved ones if and when done right. While the holidays are all about spending; they are also the period that a lot of people can access more funds either as bonus, gifts etc. Without a budget that spells out your goal, it is right to say most will succumb to the allure of the festivities to spend rather than prepare for the coming days of next year.
There is no detail too small or inconsequential to not include in a budget. So long as it requires you to use your funds, then it should be in your budget. It is also right to know your real and projected incomes; this not only helps you balances out your expenses vs your income levels but lets you know if you need to create alternate income streams.
Getting started is as simple as using a Microsoft Excel template and you can also check out other Budgeting templates on any app store. Most are easy to use and also very free and if you will like to go old school, that is also accepted. Write it down; sometimes the memory cannot be trusted and you do not have to necessarily do a full year plan at a stretch; you can do a quarterly budget that you can add up to make the whole year’s .
We hope you find this article helpful and trust that you will put action to what you have read. We are your partners on this journey to mastering the business of your personal finance to ensure it is healthy and sustainable.
Write to us if you have any questions, we look forward to hearing from you.
Team Proshare foundation.