38. Finances 101: 10 Perspectives - From my point of view. 12. Budgeting... a start
Now that we have set our priorities, how do we begin to do what we need to do?
My recommendation is to start by tracking what we are currently doing… know what we are earning and spending on. Then what we are doing well, we do some more. What we are not doing right, we stop doing.
Let us start by keeping a tally of what we are currently spending on.
Daily / Weekly / Monthly Expenditure
From the 1st of the coming month, start keeping track, using a printed piece of paper:
Food: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Tea Breaks, Supper
Travel: MRT/LRT/Bus tickets, Tolls, Parking, Petrol
Perishables: Groceries, Toiletries
Entertainment: Games, Toys, Shows, Books
Bills: Electricity, Water, Phones, Internet/Wifi,
Non perishables: Clothes
Maintenance: Car, house
Religiously write everything down daily, for a week, then two, then a month, then two. In 3 months, you should be able to have enough data to let you know what you usually spend on.
Once you finish a month, you can plot the numbers into a more detailed budget that shows your income and your expenses. Some headers may be as follows:
EPF (Employee) (11%)
EPF (Employer) (12%)
Housing Loan Instalment 1
Housing Loan Instalment 2
Car Loan Instalment 1
Total Committed Giving
Total Insurance per month
Other Fixed Expenses
Net Income before Variable Expenses
House - Security Fees
Clothes / Shoes / Supplements
Total Variable Expenses
Net Income after Expenses
Once you start monitoring, you can start tweaking your lifestyle, income and expenditure and be on your way to proactively managing your financial life.
Next week I will give you a budget template that you can use based on the examples given above.
Tell me how you do…. Until we meet again, happy managing your finances.