Ever since the pandemic and ever since people started losing their jobs and it became more challenging to find new work, people have realized the importance of having a monthly budget and staying within predefined limits. With the fast-paced life that we used to have just before the pandemic, we needed convenience more than anything else. Whether that was with food or entertainment we often paid the price for getting things delivered to our doorstep or having things custom made for our liking. This is great and people are still choosing to live a more expensive albeit convenient life over a less expensive and more objective-oriented one.
It can’t be denied that if you consider the advice of any successful person in the modern world, nearly all advocate living below your means and putting your money in more meaningful things. In fact, some of the richest people on the planet don’t splurge on expensive houses, cars, or vacations. They live a very ‘regular’ life and use their money to do more meaningful things in life.
Budgeting is a tool that everyone can use and if you want to achieve the goals you set for yourself, whether they are financial or otherwise, being able to manage money efficiently is definitely going to help. Here is what you should do.
1. Organize The Income
This has become more relevant today as people are working jobs, or they have a few ‘side hustles’ together with their main job or they are doing different things at different times to keep the ball rolling. Moreover, with the increase in the number of people freelancing, if you are a digital nomad there is a high chance that you also have to deal with foreign exchange rates, many different kinds of fees, and various other intermediaries. So even though you know how much you should be earning, the amount of money you actually receive can be quite different. Ironing out all these variables and really understanding exactly how much disposable income you have at the end of the month is a big first step.
2. Track Expenses
A few years ago when things were mostly cash it was relatively straightforward, you just check your wallet and you know what you have left. Today, you most likely have multiple accounts and different cards for different things. The main advantage to this is that you get better prices with things like loyalty cards. While your favorite stores might be good in both price and quality, the money managers at PriceListo are of the opinion that you should always stay updated with the latest business prices to make sure you are getting the best deal. Services that help you find the best price often also give you the option to purchase through that platform and in this way you have one place where all your expenses are being made from. When it comes to compiling your expenses or working out what you are spending the most money on you can easily find out through your statement. The other solution is to manually record everything which can be a bit more cumbersome.
3. Set Targets
We all have things that we want to do, whether that is by the end of the month, year, or even in ten years’ time. One of the biggest concerns for most people is a retirement fund and investing in something that is going to give them the highest return over time. An important idea in this regard is the snowball effect, something that Warren Buffet also talks about extensively. Essentially you are making small gains over a long period of time and through the compounding effect, you eventually make a lot of money. The key here is to have a fixed amount of money that you can put aside for investment purposes on a regular basis. Over time you will have built a very healthy portfolio that can fuel its own growth through the returns that it is earning you.
Things are going to happen out of the blue. Sometimes you will need to spend more than you need to and other times you are going to be able to save more than you usually do. Ideally, you should have a quarterly plan, this will help reduce the per-month burden and also give you a bit more room to think long term. This way you can evaluate your financial position every three months and figure out what you need to do to improve this. You also need to audit yourself and analyze whether or not you are making the best decisions with your current resources. In this way, you can start developing a strategy that will yield the maximum growth and help you get the most out of your available resources.
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