Do you remember the first piggy bank you ever got as a child? How you’d lug it around with pride, feeding it coins just to hear the satisfying clink sound. Those piggy banks were the extent of our understanding of savings as kids, and they were definitely a fun way to introduce the idea of budgeting to young children. However, managing your savings as an adult is a whole different ball game!
Watching your savings swell is an exciting prospect, kid or not, but it’s the stress of managing your own finances that gets overwhelming from time to time. So if you find yourself being reduced to tears while tracking your monthly expenses, it’s time for a change.
You need an expert’s advice to help you track your personal budget and figure out the best, simple budgeting tips to make your life easier. And who better for the job than Pallavi Gandhi, a banker and finance coach with over a decade’s experience, here to get you on the learning pathway, ‘Finance Pass: Personal finance made easy’, only on Kool Kanya. Through this learning pathway, you can learn everything you need to know about managing your finances, from personal budgeting methods, to investments and insurance.
You can also sign up for a range of similar courses through our PowerPass subscription, which gives you access to hours of e-learning content in the evolving fields of digital marketing, content creation, and social media.
Coming to budgeting - A well-drafted budget can make a big difference in your life by streamlining your finances, limiting your expenses and boosting your savings. But before you sit to draw your budget, here are five critical things you need to keep in mind.
- Reset your budget monthly
- Try zero-based budgeting
- Hold onto those bills
- Use tracking apps
- Learn as you go
Let’s get right into our comprehensive list of handy budgeting strategies for the next time you draw up your budget-
- Review your budget monthly
Yes, we know that you know that you should be tracking your budget on a monthly basis, but did you know that you need to reset your goals on a monthly basis too?
Maybe you found a cheaper route for your morning commute, or maybe you switched to a more expensive brand of coffee. Changes in your lifestyle affect your monthly expenses; hence, your monthly caps on categories like groceries or travel should change too. Resetting your goals each month is an important step of budgeting that will help you truly personalise your budget and ensure that you’re not setting unrealistic or restrictive goals for yourself.
For example - If your savings goal is 20k a month, and you’re planning a weekend getaway in the next month, you need to adjust your savings goals accordingly to account for the additional costs you will incur.
By reducing your savings goal from 20k to 10k for that month, you are taking your lifestyle changes into account and setting realistic goals for yourself.
2. Try the zero-based budgeting rule
If you follow any budgeting blogs or finance influencers, you will have heard the term ‘zero-based budgeting’ before. For the uninitiated, zero-based budget tracking is a technique where you start with your total balance for the month, and account for every rupee until you reach zero. This way, there isn’t a single rupee left unaccounted for.
Most people tend to define their expenses first and save the remaining amount at the end of the month. However, this method does not allow you to save consistently, and may tend to backfire if you’re an impulsive spender. Through the zero-based budgeting method, you can clearly define your expenses as well as hit your savings goals every month.
3. Track your spending by reviewing the bills
It's 2022, don't you have GPay?!
We all have switched from cash to digital wallets, and it’s definitely a convenient way to pay and keep track of your expenses. However, we've not shifted to digital payments completely. Those moments of weakness and splurging sessions, or even emergencies where you use cash are an often overlooked aspect of budgeting. This is where the bills lying crumpled at the bottom of your bag come in.
These receipts can help you efficiently track your cash payments and get an accurate overview of your monthly expenses. So hold on to those grease-stained pizza receipts, at least until you’re done with your monthly budget tracking.
4. Use budget tracking apps
Hate the look of dreary excel sheets?
Horrible at remembering all those shortcut keys and formulas?
Well, don’t worry, there are tons of budgeting applications out there that can help make your monthly budgeting easier! Through budget tracking apps you can effortlessly categorize your expenses and create personal goals. Apps like Monefy or Wallet also translate the data into fun, easy-to-understand graphs, so you can get a visual representation of your monthly finances.
The notifications and alerts features on these apps are particularly helpful if you’re the forgetful type, they ensure that you always remember to do your budget tracking on time and receive alerts when you’re about to go over your budget!
5. Adjust your spending to stay on budget
Sure, budgeting is great for tracking monthly savings and expenses, but it doesn’t end there. You also need to consciously learn and grow from your spending habits month by month.
- Always falling short on the amount you spend on travel?
- It’s time to either up your travel budget or opt for public transport.
- Ended up undershooting your savings goals more than 2 months in a row?
- It’s time to analyse your expenses and see where you can cut back.
In this way, you can learn where the room for improvement lies by mindfully going over your tracker each month.
There you have it, we hope these money management tips help you to streamline your personal finances and expense tracking. By reviewing your budget monthly, adjusting to stay on track, and making sure you don’t forget the bills, you can stay on top of your budgeting goals. Using budget tracking apps and methods such as the zero-based budgeting rule can further help you unclutter your finances and make sense of things.
If you’re looking for more simple tips and tricks on managing your finances, sign up for our course, ‘Finance Pass: Personal finance made easy’. We’ll help you with all the guidance you need to master your personal finances and smash your savings goals, every time.
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