Six tips to keep your budget on track
Setting a budget is easy. Sticking to it, as we all know, isn’t. Budgeting or financial planning shouldn’t be a grim task every month. So, to launch our new digital Budget tool on Investec Online, here’s six practical tips to keep you committed to your budget.
1. Be realistic. Your budget is more likely to succeed if it’s realistic. Look at your income and spend of the last three months and create your budget based on that. If you’re spending more than you’re earning, your budget will serve as a remedial action plan. If you’re approaching it proactively, a budget will enable you to plan and save better.
2. Identify your triggers. If you’re serious about sticking to your budget, identify typical spend ‘triggers’. For example, if you spend R500 a month on take-away cappuccinos on the way to work, make sure you fill your travel mug with coffee before you leave the house. If you can’t keep track of miscellaneous expenses, draw a set amount of ‘pocket money’ every month – when it’s finished, it’s finished.
Pay yourself first - put something away for savings before you tackle any other budget item.
3. Build in some spoils. Your budget shouldn’t just be about planning monthly expenses, like transport and groceries etc. Make provision for holidays, clothes, hobbies and giving to charity. A generous reward now and then is a great way to stay motivated.
4. Make it your own. Find a budgeting method that suits your lifestyle and personality. You might prefer a pencil and notebook or a digital tool.
A budget mustn’t just work on paper – it must work in your daily life.
5. Think of the future. The core of a budget is about saving for the things you really want and investing in a better future. Perhaps it’s a better education for your child, a dream cruise for your spouse or to start a small business. When you have a strong personal goal in mind, you’ll be committed to sticking to a budget.
Why not open a flexible PrimeSaver, with a prime-linked interest rate? Or explore your options on My Investments on Investec Online. You can invest in onshore or offshore unit trusts and open tax-free investment products.
6. Don’t be hard on yourself. If your budget doesn’t work out this month, that doesn’t mean you have to abandon it altogether. Be flexible. Adjust as you go. Sometimes we forget to budget for ‘hidden’ expenses, like ad hoc home repairs or supplies for a home office. A good tip is to reconcile your income and expenses when you do your annual SARS tax returns.
With Manage my finances on Investec Online, we’ve been empowering you with a consolidated view of your finances – from your Investec accounts and other financial institutions.
Now, with the launch of Budget, a personalised budget is just a few clicks away. You can build your budget around your lifestyle, your money and your future.
- When you log into Investec Online, you will find ‘Budget’ under ‘Manage my finances’ on the mega menu
- Create a personalised budget based on your average income and spend, and choose a category for each budget amount
- Remember to set account to update automatically so transactions are categorised and synced regularly
Five star Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa, Cape Town
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