A properly designed personal finance budget is the most accurate tool that allows you to analyze all your finances – incoming and outgoing.
Questions need to be answered on budgeting
1. Do you spend more than you earn?
Instinctive assessment here is quite simple – if you ‘eat’ all your savings on a daily basis or you are creating new debts, you are more likely to live on your own. However, before you can resolve this issue, it is important to know the exact size and scale of your financial problems. Large overdrafts can lead to debt avalanche and serious problems. Therefore, budget planners are designed to answer 100 percent of this question and provide you with a realistic financial assessment without embellishment.
2. How much can I afford to spend?
Once you are clear and know exactly where you spend your earned money, you can start changing your spending habits and setting other, more important, priorities for them. By rethinking what you are doing with your money, you will also be able to find more effective ways you could use your funds. Although different budget planners include tools that allow you to explore how to set the right priorities, the real difficulty is to stick to them.
In addition to answering these two questions, budget planning has many advantages that some of the key ones might mention:
- Understanding personal spending. If you have never made your personal budget before, you may be really surprised at how much money you spend everyday – and exactly what categories. Within a week, you can buy a few things, such as coffee pickup, a good bottle of red wine or a new piece of clothing, which at that time seems like an insignificant edition, but putting it all together – generates significant expenses. Your budget will show you exactly how much you spend and who you spend on your cheese, hard earned money.
- Ability to limit overdrafts. Budgeting gives you a great opportunity to plan your expenses and even income. If you have a specific plan, you can make sure that you will also have the money to build it, based on your personal needs and capabilities. Budgeting also reduces the temptation to buy things with impulses, because you are better aware of the financial situation.
- Improved financial control. When you know how much you spend personally and who you spend, you are really capable of improving your control over your money. People who budget their finances on a regular basis, forget about how it is, count the remaining days to the day of salary. This is because they have been able to predict their spending in advance and manage their money completely, so that they always have a peaceful mind about their financial situation.
- Making savings easier. Budgeting makes it easier for you to find the best way to save and make savings. You know exactly how much you spend, and how much you want and can afford to save, and by adjusting your spending, you can find ways to speed up your financial goals.
- There is a feeling of financial security. Even if you start making savings with very small amounts of money, these small amounts are able to increase much faster than you expected. Making a cash savings helps you create a financial cushion that can be used to pay for unexpected, emergency expenses that may occur at any point in time.
Things to Avoid When Planning a Budget:
1. Failure to think long term
When planning and setting up your budget, it’s important to keep in mind that when you do this you should think long term. Your budget is likely to be organized for a short period of time, for example within one month, but you should keep in mind that improving your financial situation is a long-term commitment. Moving the current month’s expenses to the next month or failing to plan funds for things like birthdays or Christmas presents will definitely not benefit your finances.
2. Unrealistic expectations
It makes no sense to plan and draw up a budget that you will never be able to meet, because you have included unrealistic expectations that are almost unfulfilled. Be realistic about how much money you plan to spend on your spending, and how much you plan to save and accumulate. The first month after the budget is set up is a good indicator of how realistic it is. If you are unable to meet the budget commitments already in the first month, you may want to review it completely.
3. Money overrun
Negative figures in your budget are in no way a good thing. If you spend more than you earn, you will quickly get into the debtors list. Although short-term loans seem to be a good solution to get back to the wave, you cannot consider this as a long-term solution. So be sure to keep track of your expenses and make sure they are below your earnings every month.
4. Failure to make savings
Making regular savings should be one of the biggest priorities in your budget. Such savings can act as a rescue cushion for your finances in unforeseen situations in the future. Choose a realistic savings plan and keep it alive, even if it means you have to adjust your spending habits significantly.
5. Forget about small things and small expenses
When you specify all your income and expenses in your budget, you may find that you have some “unexpected” money left. But it could also be an inaccurate assumption, because people often forget about the small things and the small expenses they tend to buy every month, but forget about them or even don’t know about buying them. These little things are not always the most obvious, for example, coffee pick-up or a magazine to read in public transport. Think of the extra euro you pay for withdrawing money from ATMs of other banks, or the two euros you spend every month on servicing your bank account. Have you thought that only one conversation with a bank consultant could cancel this tiny expense? These seemingly small and insignificant sums at the end of the month can create a serious gap in your budget, so they must be included.
6. Refusal to make changes to the budget if there is a change in the revenue and / or expense section
This rule needs to be clearer – the budget needs to be regularly adjusted to meet your changing financial needs. Even if you do not receive a salary increase or a new credit card, your mortgage interest rates may change, your utilities rates may change, your electricity bill may increase, or you may have significantly increased your credit card debt every month, which automatically increases your monthly payments. On the contrary, you may have reduced your credit card debts, resulting in a decrease in monthly payments, which will have a positive impact on your budget. These are just some of the reasons why it is important to regularly review and make changes to your personal financial budget so that you can control your money more effectively and efficiently in the long run.