Happy October! We’re fast approaching the end of 2020, and it’s our 5th #LetsTalkMoney article already!
Well, we can’t help it. Talking money makes us tick, especially when it’s about saving you money.
If you haven’t realised, our recent articles have been all about saving, earning, or budgeting. Most articles from banks, on the other hand… 🤐
Yes, we do encourage you to snap up some amazing savings occasionally, but we’re equally passionate in encouraging you to save up too!
In fact, the first step to saving money is none other than creating a solid monthly budget.
But for most people, the mere mention of the word “budgeting” will bring up visions of spreadsheets and hours of your precious weekends spent fiddling with it!
Not to worry - this week, it’s all about sharing a few easy hacks that level-up your budgeting game with minimum effort. Oh, and you can finally say goodbye to spending hours filtering through statements!
1. Follow the simplest of all rules - categories
Considered the bread and butter of budgeting, creating categories for your monthly budget seems like a no-brainer for most of us.
In fact, we’ve elaborated this before on how you should be splitting your budget against your income - remember the 50/30/20 rule?
If you’ve managed to follow the above rules, good on you! That’s a great first step towards saving some serious money.
But occasionally, you’ll find yourself comfortable with stretching the 50/30/20 rule.
For example, do a quick breakdown of your previous month’s spending in the “Needs” category.
Do any items come to mind as toeing a line between what you really need and what’s really a luxury purchase?
It may be a new backpack disguised as a necessary upgrade from your last, or an expensive restaurant bill that turned from a monthly treat into a weekend routine.
In fact, it’s part of what we call a lifestyle trap - and one of the easiest ways to make sure your budget stays awesome is to always identify them.
Keep things simple and follow your budget rules while labelling your needs and wants clearly!
2. Remember to squeeze in a self-reward category somewhere
If you think about it, budgeting isn’t very far off from dieting - it’s all about an iron will of self-control and discipline. That’s the idea, at least.
But we all know that no diet lasts long unless there’s an indulgence or dessert section on the plan!
To put it in more delicious terms, you deserve a slice of cake or a nice serving of ice cream occasionally!
Same goes for your monthly budgets - putting aside money for loans, expenses and bills aren’t particularly enjoyable, but you can balance it out with a similar budget for holidays, parties or even towards your next big purchase!
Positive reinforcement really works - when we’re rewarded for our efforts, it becomes intrinsically easier to repeat them and ingrain these budgeting habits for the long term. It really is the smartest way to keep you on track!
3. Have a look at the big picture once every quarter
If you’ve been following our #LetsTalkMoney articles, you’ll often find us drawing inspiration from successful businesses and corporations out there.
Well, this one is no different!
You’ve probably heard of businesses releasing quarterly fiscal reports that track financial comparisons, analyse business performance, and forecast growth.
In other words, big businesses review how much they’ve earned and spent every 3 months to see if they can reach a goal. You should do the same!
Try this - look at your past 3-6 months of spending. Where have you excelled in keeping spending in line, and where have you faltered or made one-off spends?
From there, you can make adjustments. Of course, this can be tedious - for most people. If you’re with BigPay, you might’ve already noticed our Analytics function and how it automatically tracks spending by categories!
We believe the secret to budgeting is this - the least amount of effort for the best budget you can easily stick to!
As always, we are happy to share and talk to you more about smarter money decisions. Let us know what you’d like to read more about in the comments below for our next piece on BigPay’s #LetsTalkMoney series!
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