Times are tough and finances are stretched. All over the world south africa included, people are having a hard time trying to make ends meet. Actually, saying that is an understatement. With prices of commodities increasing day by day and with the world wide economic recession still around, a volatile South African Rand South Africans are full of uncertainties. Add to that the sad fact that unemployment is prevalent in many countries all over the world especially South Africa with 25% of unemployment. This is why one needs to take control of your finances and family budgeting is necessary so (extended)families can make their very own strategic plans on how to maximize their strained financial resources. It’s important to make sure that every cent earned is well spent and not wasted.
In the current economic climate it is not the time to waste resources and money for which one has worked hard for not because money is everything but because money is so hard to come by.
The question on everyone’s mind is how does a family go about budgeting their finances in such a way that all needs are taken care of and there’s still some left for wants?
Well, the first thing you need to do is to coordinate your finances and list of expenditures. Why do you need to do this? Well, you need to determine how these would affect the family’s joint income and how it could empower each member of the family on their individual economic stability. This is especially true in households where less than five members are earning their own keep. It’s important to keep in mind that not everyone who’s working is required to sacrifice his or her full salary. On the contrary, only a significant portion of it needs to be “sacrificed” while he or she gets to keep the remainder for individual needs. The level of budgeting help you need would anchor on a number of things:
- Source of income
- Cost of living
- Payables and loans
- Spending habits
- Current job
- Location of your house
Some of the above listed one can not change some one can change. If you want your family to be free from financial worries, you need to start taking charge of your finances. Besides, it’s a sure path towards self-fulfillment and success. Nevertheless, it could be overwhelming especially if you’re not used to doing something like that. So many have tried to manage their income to the point of making unfounded investments, only to realize they’ve dug an even deeper hole for themselves. Hence, here are a few tips on budgeting and some recommendations on how you can help yourself manage your finances wisely and be more responsible in handling your money:
- Very few people like math. However, if you’re serious about budgeting, you need to treat it as your lifetime partner. Every time you need to buy something, always do the math. Compare prices. Will buying in bulk offer a cheaper alternative? Employ effective buying techniques that will save you as much as you came for each item you buy. Don’t forget to check what is being ringed up at the till corresponds with the advertised price. Many times I have found things to be more expensive at the till as on the shelve
- Learn how to differentiate between your family’s wants and needs. We know this is old news, but it never becomes outdated. If you don’t need something badly (emphasis on the word badly), then don’t buy it. Treat wants as luxuries, which are second to gambling when it comes to money-eroding capability. You know how gambling wastes and strips you of your finances, so why opt for what’s next in line?
- Stick to this mantra, “Do not spend more than you earn.” This famous cliché may be overused, but there is always truth to it. Unfortunately many South Africans don’t stick to this, and one day it will come back to bite them.
- This is a tried and tested (and slightly overused) formula – make a budget list.
To take charge of your finances budgeting will set you off on the right foot if you’re able to take budgeting serious it will positively affect your finances.