December Overview Part 3: Finance Trackers and Why You Need Them
First, it was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday, oh wait, before that was 11.11 and now it’s 12.12! It’s the season for sales and happy shopping it is! While you continue to soak in the festivities, remember to track your spending and finances!
Finance tracking is important for a simple reason, shopping is fun, only when you’re in budget!
Here’s HOW to make sure you stay in budget!
One: Set a budget for shopping and spending!
Can’t stay in budget if you ain’t got one!
Pro tip: You want to break it down further into specific categories that works too!
Setting a budget is useful so that you can feel comfortable and happy spending because you’ve already set the amount of money you can spend. This allows you to freely throw your money at alllll those sales!
Do a personal budget in 6 easy steps:
- Gather all financial statements
- Add up all your income
- Write down all your monthly expenses
- Break expenses into – fixed (like bills, insurance etc) and variable
- Total income and expenses – and then compare them. They should equal up.
- If they don’t, then it’s time to make adjustments to expenses
Dot grid notebooks work really well – they’re sort of like a physical excel sheet! You can draw boxes and tables pretty easily with dot grids! They’re also not so physically imposing as compared to grids
Two; Use Cash!
The Budget Mom has created a really good system – using cash envelopes to track your spending and making sure you stay on track in line with your budget! Decorate those envelopes so they feel much more attractive to use!
Three; Find ways to cut on certain categories of spending so that you can put the balance in another category
If you really want to spend more in that category, especially with the time of the year when it’s not just that there’s an eternal list of sales, but it’s also gift-giving season, you don’t have to feel restricted! You can just move money around in the various categories in your budget so you can still get the same result in a different way.
Four; Always do reviews!
Review your week, month, year. This will help you to keep track of your spending as well as to find out what categories you have been spending more in. It keeps you realistic. There is no point budgeting so little for a category (e.g. food) if you know you will be spending way more than the amount you budgeted for.
But WHY is it good to track your finances and spending?
Buy what means something to you not what fulfils you just for the moment (or for those few seconds where you succumb to that latest sale ad)! Buying what is valuable to you is not so much about the quantity but the quality. If you put thought into what you spend, you will tend to also buy yourself (and others) more meaningful gifts.
Save up for emergencies
Always have enough for a rainy day and never be afraid when you need to break out that (virtual) piggy bank. Emergencies will come when you least expect them. Budgeting helps you to make sure you’re well taken care of, by yourself! Car breakdowns, hospital trips, a broken water pipe, there can be a thousand and one problems that can arise. Be ready for any of them with finance trackers and expense planning!
Reach long term goals
You want to spend on what counts – those big dreams of yours. Some of us save up for that fountain pen you’ve always wanted, or that really expensive watch! Whatever your reason or your goal, you have to budget and keep to your budget faithfully so you can get there!
TO END OFF; If you’ve successfully budgeted for shopping, let your hair down and check out our crazy deals this 12.12 sale! With prices slashed by 50%, you will be able to find all kinds of Christmas gifts here for all ages!