BREAKDOWN YOUR EXPENSES
It's hard not to notice how fast our current economic landscape is changing. Jobs are harder to get, and harder to keep. Although things may look tough for everyone else, they don't have to for you! How is this possible?With wise and creative financial planning!
I'd like to share with you how you can begin approaching your monthly budget in an objective manner. I call it the Three N's. Basically you break down your expenses down into Necessities, Niceties and Not-Just-Yets.Whilst these three points are by no means a comprehensively finite methodology to structuring your financial plan, they help to form the mindset with which you can categorise your spending patterns.
When setting up your budgetary expenses, the top of the list should begin with the expenses that are absolutely necessary. Essentially, when money comes in, where are the first places that they should be going to? Housing (rent or homeloan), electricity, water and rates, groceries, school fees etc. These are your non-negotiables, the expenses that keep you and your family happy and healthy.
With the basics covered, your next task is to consider your expenses that are the 'nice-to-haves'. This could be expenses like DSTV, eating out, your smoothie after gym, pamper treatments or any expense that is slightly more to the luxury side of being an absolute necessity.
There is nothing wrong with having these expenses, in fact, some of these are investments into your health and mental well-being! What's important is that you write them down so that you can begin to order them in priority of expenses and plan to have the money available for them.
Some personal financial advisers tend to call these items 'luxury expenses' and they sometimes get a negative connotation. I believe that it's crucial to have financial goals, and so I like to call these the not-just-yet expenses - which means that at some point in your future, you plan to be able to afford them.
This list could include current expenses that are not feasible in your current financial situation, but you keep them on your list for when they are affordable within your plan. This list could also include things like holiday trips that you'd like to take, a dream car or bike that you've been wanting buy or perhaps an expensive piece of jewellery that you always eye at the store in the mall. Maybe it's a makeover for a room in your house, or even your entire house!
The not-just-yets part of your budget keep your budget exciting and keeps you driven to achieve for more than where you are now.