Just like anything in life – if you keep it simple, you’ll stick to it. Budgeting is no different. So for this post, let’s simply remove the notion from your mind that budgeting is a number crunching, mathematical intensive, too much time taking exercise, and let’s imagine it as so simple that a child could do it. Happy thoughts. Take your mind to a happy place.
Done? Good, now let me show you how easy it is to budget, without the stress of any kind.
Automate your Bills and Payments
Ah, see – you missed such an important part of living through a stress-free Budget – your payments. Don’t worry about the bills, the invoice, the SMS you get on your phone, the reminder calls. Why should you? Get rid of it. Get it automatically deducted from your account every month. If I play a game of averages here if you have 7 payments which you pay every month, each of them charging you an average late fee of Rs 100. That is saving Rs 700 every month. That’s the cost of a Premium version of Hotstar and Netflix – COMBINED! If you have signed up for both these services, think of the money you lose. Not worth your time.
Automate your Savings Account
I recommend having separate savings account for the money you wish to save every month. As soon as your paycheck arrives, automate that 20% you wish to save into this account. Shoot first, ask questions later. Once your savings are out of your sight, they are out of your mind. You’ll not be tempted to use that money if it is lying around in your “Spending” Account.
Keep your Budgeting simple
If you chose to have an excel, or a budgeting software, or the envelope system or an app – whatever it is – keep it simple! Shameless plugin, we are working on an app to solve this problem. You can sign up for our newsletter to keep yourself up to date with what we have to offer. The point is, as the risk of repetition – if you keep it simple, you’ll stick to it.
Don’t be Hard on Yourself
Sometimes you don’t need to be a receipt collection machine. What will you achieve by missing a few rupees, up or down? Just round up, note it down, and move. As an example, say you went out for dinner and spent Rs 1648 rupees. You lost your receipt and now you don’t know how much you spent. A simple Rs 1700 or even around Rs 2000 is enough to note. Sure it’s not accurate, but no point losing your budgeting habit just because you lost one receipt.
Besides, you budgeted more than what you spent so this will reduce the headache of tracking every Rupee.
Extra Expenses Occur More Often than you like
Something goes wrong, no matter how hard you try. Your car breaks down or your tooth needs a root canal – whatever the expense may be, you feel at this time that your budget needs to be thrown out of the window. A very simple way to take care of this is to have an “Unplanned Expenses” category for your budget. Think of it like a short term “Emergency Fund”. Build it to a reasonable limit and keep it that way. This way, if you are forced into an unexpected friends wedding, you’ll be prepared for it without falling off the budget rails
Hustle Baby – Hustle
Would you look at that – your electricity bill is a complete shocker this month! You did not expect that, did you? The simple answer is to move money over from some of your other planned expenses for this month into your electricity bill. Shaving a few rupees off your other goals will keep you in good shape overall.
The exciting answer, however, is perhaps to skip that fancy “I feel like ordering delivery” today. Be creative with what you have in the fridge. Couple that meal with a good television show. Saving a little on groceries will go a long way. Don’t overage – at any cost. As the song goes, “Everyday I’m Hustling”
Don’t leave your Budget at Home
There are a plethora of apps out there which help you keep track of your budget. No point not knowing what your budget is when you are going out. Take a look before you leave home for dinner, shopping, or a movie. Remember your money is limited – so keep that in mind when moving forward with it.
Spending Money is Fun if you know how to have one
Your budget is not a bully telling you what to do. You are in control of it, you gave it life and you get to move things the way you want to. So why not have fun a bit. Here are a few way
- Call your internet company, or phone company and negotiate a better price for their services.
- Set a budget about Rs 1000 lower than the estimated Entertainment Budget for the month. Hunt out the free entertainment options. You know what I am talking about 😃 Do that for a few months and treat yourself for being smart.
- Have an unsold, unused smartphone at home? Do you know what you can do with a new number these days? Think of Uber, Foodpanda, Swiggy, Zomato, Ola, Urbanclap – and what not are prepared to do for a few customer. Recommend from your current phone number to the new phone number – and enjoy double savings. Don’t worry, I won’t tell 😃
You’ll not only improve your budget and be good in keeping yourself under budget, but you’ll have so much fun.
All that money in your budget keeping you down? Don’t be. Grab some nacho’s t the movies, an occasional McDelivery, or a coffee at a cafe shouldn’t be something you should deprive yourself of. Happiness is in the smaller details of life – don’t let anyone take that away from you.
No relationship ever has the right to control you – and that includes your relationship with your money. All you need to be is responsible, and smart about it. There is a difference between feeling the pressure, and feeling the responsibility – the latter gives you satisfaction and pride in yourself.