By Tkay Nthebe
Every new month is an opportunity to reflect on our spending habits, set new goals and priorities. It is often said how we allocate our resources – time, energy and money says a lot about what is important in our lives.
Creating a spending plan that works is usually a big challenge, because we struggle to differentiate between needs and wants. We often convince ourselves that “we want to need it” and buy things that aren’t always aligned with our financial goals.
A spending plan is a road map that helps us decide how to allocate our money and determine which expenses are a priority. Creating a spending plan that works starts by identifying all the sources of income and understanding the earning patterns. Do you earn your income on a daily, weekly or monthly basis?
The second step is to differentiate between needs and wants, then identify which expenses are priorities. Expenses can be split into fixed and variable expenses. Fixed expenses are those items that do not change from month to month for example, your monthly rental or mortgage bond. Variable expenses are the items that change month on month, for example, electricity spend in summer vs. winter.
It is also very important to track and compare what we have planned to spend versus the actual.
We can track and adjust our daily, weekly or monthly spending by using the template provided below, via a budgeting App or using a notebook.
Creating a spending plan does not have to be boring or depressing. It should help us navigate the financial road map towards achieving our financial goals. It should also help us determine our spending habits and hold us accountable. Let’s avoid the “I want to need it” syndrome and work on achieving Leruo!