financial, analysis, accounting

Budget Planning for the month – How to plan & budget monthly 2021

Are you studying in another city? Or just completed your studies and begin work-life? Or maybe someone who’s struggling with work-life balance? If you fall into any of the mentioned categories then you should read this article till the end to know how you can manage your salary monthly, and not run out of money at the end of the month.

Which is the terrible time of the month? Certainly, the month ends! We hate the month ends even way more than a girl hates her periods. No parties, no casual pizza orders, no late-night brews, and especially no ‘treat from my side’ moments! Besides, we have a few responsibilities towards our families too that we’re unable to fulfill wholly or partially!

The month-end comes with mood swings season too. As it brings sudden hatred for the job and we start wondering if we are the only one who’s getting paid most inappropriately and being exploited. I guess all of us want our pockets to be filled with money all the time no matter whether it’s month-end or what!

Somewhere, at some point we all have heard “you know it’s month-end, let’s plan some other time “ or “this month, the whole budget got disturbed, let’s wait for the next salary” and all of the above, “I just don’t understand how my salary just gets finished even before coming in my hand!”

 “You are no longer a boy, and one of the first duties which a man owes to his friends and society is to live within his income.” –  Thomas Hughes

We all experience this, and probably every month but do we even know what the root cause behind it? It’s our uneven and casual expenditures! It’s natural, as from childhood; fortunately, our parents never let anything fall short that leads this habit to grow. Now, when we’re earning on our own so we are concerned about the expenses, savings, and especially the lifestyle that we used to live and don’t want to compromise on it. Consequently, we all get baffled in the month ends and when the next salary comes, we become excited enough to inevitably go back into the vicious cycle of month-end money shortage stress. 

One of the greatest learning of my life is, “Don’t spend money until you have it.”

Most of us having a decent salary to sustain in society still we face short–term monetary issues, only because we don’t have our income and expenses in sync. We don’t plan our expenses according to our salary. The only solution we have on the table, to plan our money is; to plan monthly budgets.

 

“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went” – Dave Ramsey

Broadly, making a budget for a month helps you to manage your expenses in the right manner, but it’s not the only benefit you have. You can grab a lot out of it. First of all, let me clear you that budgeting doesn’t mean restricting or compromising your wants, even it helps to fulfill them. It simply means allocating the available resources for the best possible utilization.

Get control over your money

Make sure your money doesn’t control you! You have done the required hard work to earn, so you deserve control over it. Planning budgets monthly gives you authority over your money to manage it. Also, it will assist you in controlling extraordinary or non-required expenses and it enables you to maintain a balance between your personal and social life as well as prepares you for unplanned expenses like medical emergencies or unexpected household repairs.

Keeps you organized

Staying organized is another term used for planning. If you have planned well that means you have organized well and if you have organized well so you are most likely to not get into financial constraints. It’s crucial to plan; when, where, and how much is required to spend? Planning your monthly budget doesn’t only help to keep you organized; also if you have got a plan in your hand it gives you more confidence and makes you less stressed.

 

Gives a clear image

It’s important to understand your lifestyle and its cost. By analyzing what all your needs are and how much money do you need to satisfy them gives a transparent image of how much you genuinely require and what you spend in real.

 

Budgeting builds better habits

Through budgeting, you will try to control unwanted expenses like eating lunch from outside, having momos break every evening, etc. If you make a budget thereby you will realize how badly it’s ruining your health as well as wasting your money. Also, it’s like a win-win situation! Healthy habit keeps the doctor away which eventually means you will not only reduce your expenditure but may also save a bit.

Avoid debts

Through budgets, you can control your money, get an idea of your expenses, and also keeps medical expenses less. All this can help you to save a good amount for later. Therefore, you may not need many loans and you can stay debt-free life.

 

Budgeting gives you a better life

Imagine all mandatory expenses are done; you still have money in your hand to spend even at the month-end. Shortage of money can no more hindrance your parties and now you can finally have a lifestyle you want even with fewer expenses as when you create monthly budgets; you spend in control, know your priorities, have less or no debt, save a bit more than means you’ll have a better life with less stress and more confidence.

Budgeting has only one rule: do not go over budget”

Before planning a monthly budget, it is important to know your spending style that will help you know what the shortcomings are so that you aren’t able to spend in the right manner. Furthermore, it will help you to prioritize your stuff, and you may end up saving an extra penny too.

Making a budget isn’t difficult but following it strictly is! Believe me; Budgeting doesn’t require any special qualifications or talent. All you need is to do a self-assessment.

First of all, record your expenses for a month. Don’t make any budget, just record every single penny spent. This expense report will help you analyze where you can cut expenses to serve another need/want.

I generally prefer a 50/30/20 model for planning a budget monthly were, 50 stands for % of salary reserved for needs, 30 for % of salary reserved for wants, and 20 is for % reserved for savings or repayment of debts

 

Stage 1 – Needs

Every household has some basic requirements like home rent, electricity bills, medical expenses, etc. As humans vary, their needs too. If a car is essential for one; it may not for another. So, according to your definition of basic requirements list down all your needs and make sure you are honest with yourself!

Once, you have the list in hand; try to fix a definite amount for them (say 50% of your salary). Stick to the budget, check for various discounts and offers, and always records whatever you spend.

 

Stage 2 – Wants 

Your earnings are your reward and rewards are meant for celebration. Enjoy your life the way you want, but make sure you enjoy it for a lifetime, not for a day or two. Don’t plan your parties, dinners, shopping, and movies all in one month. Eventually, you will be bankrupted next month and it will be difficult to spend a whole month without entertainment. This may lead to job dissatisfaction too. If you spend comparatively less amount (say 30% of your salary) you will keep yourself entertaining with something new and amusing every month.

 

Stage 3 – Savings or Repayment of debts 

“Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.” – Warren Buffet

It is critical to understand your expense s and how to control them while having a good present, but what is more crucial is, how to save a bit for a better future too. If you’ll spend everything today what will you have for tomorrow? Since you all must have saved some amount; however, are you sure that it’s enough for later?

When I get my salary, I save 20% of it in another account that I have opened for savings only; this gives me the confidence that I am prepared for the future. Likewise, understand your long-term goals and save accordingly. Everything happens for a reason, and if you want to save, you must have a reason. My saving mantra or reason is – “Don’t save because you have extra money today, save because you might not have even a single penny tomorrow.”

 

Stage 4 – Change budgets frequently.

As we enhance our knowledge in subject matters, excel yourself in budget making too. Everyone gets bored with the same routine, the same logic applies in budget-making as well. If you’ll have the same budget for months you will get bored with your life. Always add/delete something from your budget or sometimes celebrate a “CHEAT MONTH.” After all, it’s your money and you have all the rights to spend it anyhow. (But remember, CHEAT MONTHS are allowed once in a while only)

 

4 ways to spend less for more

Even you strictly follow your budget and salary distribution still you can fail, if the prices start rising but not your salaries. Here are a few tips I follow to spend less to get more.

– If you will buy your monthly stock in one go, you can save approx. 10-15% in total. Also, it eradicates the hustle of going to the market again and again.

– Usually, big supermarkets organize monthly sales frequently that may save you 15-20% monthly. They organize various games and lucky draws as well for their loyal customers and who knows you may become their next lucky customer.

– It is recommended to buy all electronic or automobile products near festivals as companies give heavy discounts on products as well as extra giveaways.

– Online shopping sites are still trying to get their stand in the Indian market. Therefore, most online products must be listed at low prices than offline stores. 

It’s not easy to track your daily expenses manually. You may require an artificial accountant for yourself, but you make a budget to spend less so you should not spend money on the management of money. Therefore, I suggest a few free applications that may assist you in spending less.

Daily Expense Manager

Daily Expenses Manager

You can find this app easily on Google Play Store and App Store and it’s absolutely free. You can record your income and expenses daily. Also, it makes the pie charts and tables for you to better your spending pattern. It is one of the easiest applications for managing your money.

EveryDollar

It’s developed by Financial Guru, Dave Ramsey for all your financial concerns. You can link your bank accounts with this app that enables it to record all your transactions automatically with bank-level security and further, it segregates all transactions in their respective category. As Dave Ramsey’s app, works on his concept of “Baby steps to Wealth.” if you’re one of his followers, you will definitely like this app.

 

Mint App

Mint App

It’s one of the most convenient, automated, and free money management app. In Mint, you can not only track your income and expenses but also perform certain transactions like electricity bills, DTH Recharge, Internet bills, and many more. Mint – One-stop solution for all your money management needs.

 

Point to note: It’s not about making a budget only. If you want to strictly follow your budget easily, you have to be a little attentive when, where, why, and how much you’re spending. Make a budget, spend wisely, and save consistently then only you will be able to get rid of Month End Stress.

Let me know in the comment section if this article could help you in planning a monthly budget. Also, tell me which app do you use for money management and let me know if you still have any queries, I’ll try to address them as soon as possible.

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