Money matters

Boom. Just like that, you’ve lost your business, your savings are fast dwindling. Suddenly, your life is spiraling down south.

It could happen to anyone. Just like it happened to me. Your monthly overhead expenses that you didn’t give much importance before, suddenly looks so shocking.  All of a sudden, you’re cramming your mind on how to cut on your monthly expenses. Thankfully the internet is full of “HOW TO…” articles/pages  — this one included — that could help you with your predicament. So before you decide to leave this page. Let’s start with the first tips on how to save.

MONEY matters, so create a BUDGET.

That is why you need to create a BUDGET. Make a list of what you spend in a month. Write everything: Food, Bills, Tuition, Entertainment, Load, Beers. Write anything under the sun or moon by which your moolah leaves your fast becoming malnourished wallet.  And at the end of the month, sum up all the list of expenses and get ready to be shocked. It’s often amazing how big we’re spending on those non-essentials things.

spreadsheetsudoku

In your budget template, there should be columns for: “CATEGORY” “AMOUNT“ “BUDGET (this is the amount you intend to spend monthly) and lastly “REMAINING”. Or, if you’re like me, too lazy to make one you can always search the internet for free software’s. Mine is AceMoney lite by MechCAD software.

Categorize your spending habits into 2 categories. ESSENTIAL – things that you cannot do without. (Like utilities, food, tuition, rent and beer. beer?…hmmm). NON ESSENTIAL – things that you can live even without it (like cable, internet, cell phone load or better yet cell phone)

And at the end of the month, sum up all the expenses vs. your income. If this is your first time to make a budget, I’m pretty sure you are over budget. But don’t worry, you are not alone.  The sum up expenses will basically be your guiding point in creating your next budget (it should be realistic). Whether you want to increase or decrease the amount in each category, is up to you. What is important is that your monthly expenses should not exceed your monthly income or else, what’s the point of reading this, right? Our aim here is looking for ways to where we can cut on unnecessary expenses. Like mine, I cut on my monthly cell phone load. Instead of loading a fixed amount of load per month, I just now load my cell phone when I need to text or call someone which is very seldom.  We’ll discuss more about tips on how to save on load expenses (MONEY matters, but so are LOAD) in my future article. Mind you, I’ve cut lots and lots of expenses to the point of if our refrigerator is a person, he’ll be classified as “severely malnourished” only water and ice is what’s inside our fridge for the longest time. You can also try cutting expenses on all your variable expenses. (Electricity, Food, Gasoline, Leisure, Clothes and Dating(s) — stick to one, OK) I’ll also be writing on these one by one on my future blog (if WordPress will not delete me for wasting their space).   I figure since you are still here reading this blog (whew, thank you Lord, for giving you the gift of patience) somehow you want to learn how to budget. So read on.

dilbert_budget_games

Once you’ve created your budget, stick to it. I hope your drive is much, much stickier than those 3M adhesive found in the market. It should be more like – the future of your family depends on it. Research shows that people who have a monthly budget plan is most likely to have lower stress level, will not panic immediately compared to people who have no budget plan. Because with a budget plan, you already have an idea where your money is going. Having a clear sense of your financial standing is very important.

In your first three months (less I hope), you will likely be having some problem. You know budgeting is like, addiction, so hard to let go. But with extra effort and determination and a fear of being included in the  statistics of EJK (Extra Judicial Killing going on here in the Philippines), you’ll get through it. And once you tame this beast – having your budget not overboard – you’re on your way to making your life easier. So I guess congratulation is just right.

Oh, before I forget. One sure way of wreaking havoc with your budget is UNEXPECTED EXPENSES. Make sure to avoid this one. Think of this as a deadly virus. So be very, very wary of such.

Let me leave you with a quote from the bible Mt 6:34

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day”.

So don’t worry, be happy.

Next will be talking about How to save on Food expenses (Money matters but so are FOOD)

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