Every year, millions of young dudes and dudettes wish for better days in the New Year. Months later, the same dreams pop up in the to-do list and future aspirations of the next year and the next. If you are one of those peeps that’s had enough and are ready for something new, then these budgeting tips can help you to dream awake.
Know your income
First and foremost, you need to know exactly how much money you are working with. If you don’t know this, then you run the risk of overspending. Remember the first rule is to make sure that your expenditures do not exceed your income.
As a student, your income can come from your parents, student jobs, bursary, scholarship, savings, study loan or another income source. Whatever the case, be sure that you know and document your income(s).
Figure out where your money is going
A budget is not intuitive. You need to establish where you spend your money and know how much you are paying. For example, you may need to spend money on textbooks, food, accommodation and transport. Know what is a need and a want.
Your wants, for example, can be your hairstyles, manicures and entertainment spend. This is where you can try to cut costs. Perhaps do a less expensive hairstyle, paint your own nails and have a bring-and-braai with your mates as opposed to going out to an expensive fancy restaurant.
Don’t eat the seed
When you are working on a budget, it is not enough to try and keep your expenditures low. You need to also think of a way out by investing something to grow your money. It does not matter if you have a lot or a little left after paying off your expenses.
Think of tax-free savings or setting aside a portion of your money. It may not look significant, but in the long run, that money can come in handy and gain interest. Cultivate a culture of saving and investing that money and interest gained from it.
Whether you manage your budget through a mobile phone budget app or you prefer to write it down or use an Excel spreadsheet; you need to regularly populate your budget throughout the month. A budget is not worth the paper it is written on unless you have the courage to follow through. Start budgeting today! You can do it!