Have you seen the shirt with the words “MY MONEY GROWS LIKE GRASS” written boldly on it? I’m sorry to break it to you, but money does not grow like grass, and it is not a weed. In this article, I’ll discuss practical ways to manage your money for a healthy financial life.
Money is not always easy to come by, as many people wish, especially when you’re young and keep seeing headlines like “I bought my house at the age of 25” or “I paid off my student loans at 26 and bought a house a year later” and you have bills that won’t let you save and you’re living paycheck to paycheck.
While these headlines and stories are intriguing, the subjects appear accomplished, most likely as a result of frugality and careful planning. You, too, may be wondering how to meet your goals by some timeline you may have set knowingly or by imagination. Truth is, no matter how many articles you read on “how to save” they would not save your money for you, until you know the basics of budgeting and exactly how it works and intentionally apply these principles.
How does a budget work?
You may have tried budgeting numerous times and it simply does not work for you; it is possible that you have been doing it all wrong and now prefer to spend as you please. Here’s what I believe: Nations, nonprofits, and companies make budgets, and you could argue that it’s for accountability (which I wholeheartedly agree with) to the government, public, funders, or anyone. It’s the same as you; in all honesty, you should hold yourself accountable.
A budget, according to the Cambridge dictionary, is “a plan to show how much money a person or organization will earn and how much they will need or be able to spend.” Note the subjective word “plan.”
So, basically, all your budget should contain is a detailed picture of your financial intentions. I should also mention that budgeting is a process, so having a list of items on paper but not implementing them is essentially wishing.
A budget does not imply that you must be frugal; however, while frugality may result in proper money management, your budget is intended to guide you so that your goals are not jeopardized. It’s more like going to the grocery store with a shopping list than going without one. Without a list to guide you, your spending decisions may be influenced, especially if you are an impulsive buyer. Your budget is your list here, but if you do not strictly adhere to it, it will be pointless.
Why is a budget so important?
Money is easily spent, which is a recurring theme. Lawsuit winners, professional athletes, jackpot or lottery winners, prize winners who win money from casino games, and just about anyone else who goes from rags to riches in a short period of time ends up with less money in their pocket than they started with in an average of three to five years.
This is caused by a variety of factors, the most obvious of which is a lack of proper planning. It’s the same as driving a long distance with a full tank and never checking your fuel gauge because you believe it’s full. It’s only a matter of time before your car breaks down on the side of the road, possibly without a gas station. Budgeting allows you to forecast your spending in order to avoid future pitfalls.
Your budget can be used for almost anything; it could be a short-term budget goal like buying a car, a house, or planning a wedding, or it could be a long-term budget goal like a retirement plan that is appropriate for your income.
What to consider when budgeting
When creating a budget, there are numerous factors to consider; don’t let this overwhelm you. Before you begin, the first thing to consider is your income. The amount that enters your account has a significant impact on your budget. Budgeting may be simple if you earn a salary; however, if you are a business owner or freelancer who earns on a daily basis, you will need to plan your budget to accommodate your earnings. It’s best to go over your expenses, utilities, investments, and other commitments, perform the necessary calculations, and see what’s left.
Keep an eye on your spending habits and make changes if that has been the worm eating your money. If you must save, write down the amount you ‘CAN’ save and be diligent in putting it aside as soon as you have it available. People frequently decide to save a large sum of money only to spend it all. Here’s why: there are needs that must be met, so saying you want to save money meant to feed you doesn’t make sense..
This is why it is critical to set aside a percentage of your earnings (10% -20% ) for savings. I recommend saving in a savings account that you do not have access to; you can ask your bank to freeze your account until you are ready to use the money or invest it. Before you invest, make sure you understand the risks involved. Basically, educate yourself on saving and investing in order to help your money “grow.” And before you know it, you’ll be buying a home of your own.
Here are the five best budget Apps that I recommend using for your budgeting. Each has its own distinct and core functions that are primarily focused on assisting you in budgeting.
This App is best for individuals and couples, so if you and your partner will want to track your spending, I recommend this APP
Best for managing your balance sheet and easy to use.
Control your spending with this app and avoid overspending.
Mainly on investments and retirements.
Free and easy to use as well as main track on spending associated with financial accounts and bank accounts.
These are considered to be some of the best free budgeting applications on the market – you can select one that meets your overall financial expectations and circumstances, depending on each function and core function. You can also use Excel sheets to prepare your budget, if you are unfamiliar with Excel sheets, there are a lot of free templates online for you to download.
As I previously stated, money does not grow like grass, but it does accumulate over time if you are diligent. Budgeting entails more than just making a list; it entails sticking to your plan until you reach your goal. If anything, money is like a rose flower; when properly managed, it produces an appealing scented flower at the end. Try these tips to make better spending and saving decisions, and you’ll soon be able to plan that vacation you’ve always wanted!