Are you looking at your bills over and over, trying to figure out where you spent so much? It’s common to get out a pen and pad, write down all your expenses and figure out where the leak is. But, in truth, it’s not rocket science. You don’t need to fill pages and pages with figures and item names. Don’t try to reverse process a budget, just make it from the top. Budgeting is not something that is taught in schools, but it’s definitely something you learn in business class. It’s why there are so many people from a business background with good credit scores. They can think a certain way that will enable them to see money in a different light. They’re not bombarded with different expenses and lose track of their money. Fiscally speaking, you do have to have a type of mindset that is more conservative in order to save quicker and consistently. Here are some of the ways you can implement this kind of thinking in your everyday life.
Priorities and essentials
The first thing that any business plan will state in a budget is the priorities and the essentials. An essential is something that you need in order to function. A priority is something that’s after the essential and should be first on the list. An essential in your budget is food. A priority is something like heating. You can survive without heating, by putting more layers on. However, you cannot survive without food. Ask yourself tough questions about what you need and what you would like. We are all bound by constraints, thus being able to live inside them and push outward when the time comes, is the basis of good fiscal responsibility.
Regarding essentials, what is your budget? How much can you spend on the things you need? Food or rather groceries is the first essential. You should set a budget for your weekly grocery shopping and stick to it. Mark out the things you definitely need, such as bread, eggs, milk, and protein i.e. meat. After that, you can make a group of breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and treats. The second essential is clothing. You should always instill a sense of care and duty in your children, to look after their clothes and make them last as long as possible. The third essential is medicine. Do you or your family have conditions that require you to buy medicines and or treatments every week or month? This is part of the budget that is essential.
As stated beforehand, one of your priorities is the heating in your home. Keeping the home a nice warm place to live is very important to the wellbeing of your family. This is something that must be included in your budget. It’s wise to keep the option of making drastic cuts by not having the heating on and wearing more layers. Hot water for showers is another priority. However, you would do well to replace the hot water tank with an electric water heating system. You only get hot water when the hot water is on, thus you don’t have a need to heat a tank of water up which may not be used. Lighting and water are two other priorities but these are the easiest to cut back on. Be careful with the water you need to use for washing up and don’t make silly mistakes like leaving it for longer than you need it. The same goes for lighting but with modern LED bulbs, you can save a lot just by switching your old bulbs.
The simple things
The everyday things we do have a massive impact on our budget. For example, your smartphone is something that you need to use for work and for your personal life, but it’s one of the easiest places where you waste money. Read the options and reviews you have on Half Cooked and see if you could fair better with a new network provider. You may also find that there are other products such as SIM-only options that allow you to buy packages that would be cheaper for your style of use. Many people just stick to the plan they were given when they signed the contract or bought the phone. But inch by inch, this could be losing you a lot of money every year.
When you’re on a mission to save everywhere, your budget must include simple things like haircuts. Could you possibly go to a cheaper hairdresser? Could you get your hair cut less often? You should stop having any kind of extras such as highlights. Simple things like, taking a packed lunch to work would save you a lot of money every week. Things like coffee can be taken with you in a thermos. Pretty much everything you consume at work should be made at home or part of your groceries.
The luxuries you enjoy
When you’re so strapped for cash, ask yourself should you be going on holiday? The big things in your life must also be cut out until you are master and commander of your finances once again. You have to make sacrifices and many people can make all the little ones but not the big ones. However, a budget that is going to work has to be total in its scrutiny. It’s impossible to try and balance your budget and get control of the deficit in your household if you’re not willing to make sacrifices. It should not matter what size the sacrifices are, you just need to make them without prejudice.
The other kind of luxuries you enjoy such as treats of chocolates or desserts must also be cut down. Unless they are part of your daily snacking or mealtime, then you don’t need them. Luxuries like trips to the spa, getting massages and facials all have to go without question. You can protest a little if you want, but you know in your mind they have to be cut out of your life for now.
The hard life
Ask any family that has been in the same position as you and they will tell you the same thing. Life is going to be hard in the beginning, but you’ll get used to it. If the school or work is close to your home, then you should try not to drive all the time. Drop the children off by walking them to the gates. Go to work on a bicycle or just walk. There’s no room for whinging, you have to get used to the hard life so you can slowly work your way to the good life. Hopefully, this will teach you a lesson to never be so free with your money and always be careful about how you use what you earn. It will also prepare your children for their financial futures too because they will have witnessed firsthand what it’s like to have your hands tied behind your back financially.
Budgeting is not rocket science and it’s not magic. It’s pure common sense and a heart of steel. Life is going to be hard, but you and your family have to work as a team to dig yourself out of the deficit and debt that has been mounted. Start off by cutting our all luxuries. No more holidays until you’re in the black. Save on energy bills as much as you possibly can. Make sure you’re not always driving to work if you can help it to save on gas.