It is never too late to know how to better manage your money and setting budgets and goals and as difficult as it sometimes seems the earlier you start putting things in place the better you will be in the future. In this post, the aim is to make your budget management and your goal setting as easy as possible.
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As we plan our lives budget planning and budget setting only tend to be taken seriously when we decide on starting a family, already have kids and as we get older, nearing retirement. But why wait until then?
Goals are dreams made into reality and setting budgets help you to achieve those goals. You may say to yourself I’m just out of high school I don’t really need to set a budget but the earlier you practice the better it will be for you in the long run.
You may not think that you budget smart or set realistic goals but each and every day you do. The thing that we forget to do is to make sure we do it for ourselves. You probably woke up and before even getting out of bed thought about how you were going to manage your day at home, school, college or work.
You created a mental to-do list, a task list of things to do which in a nutshell are small goals.
So it might be as simple as planning your Monday to make breakfast, do the laundry, finish off the ironing, do some general errands pick the children up from school, assist with school projects, the goal was to get those tasks done on Monday.
If you’re at work your goals or to-do list may be to reply to a certain amount of emails, finish off a meeting report, make several phone calls to key clients and so on.
You might not get them all done that day but you had a plan and began to go through them one by one and physically or mentally ticking them off as you go. Did you do that for yourself? Yes, you!
What was your personal goal for the day that would benefit you in some way and help you in the short and long-term or did it just benefit others?
Now personal budgets and goal setting do not necessarily have to be financial even though that’s a good place to start and actually the easiest.
You can budget your time and your goals can be one of personal development. But let’s first deal with the financial side of things, the tangible items that you can touch.
How To Start Setting Goals
Some people use visual aids to help them with setting goals such as vision boards for their ultimate life goals with pictures and words of what they would like to achieve such as the perfect house, the most luxurious car or the most adventurous holiday.
It is said if you can see it, you can believe it then you can achieve it. Sorry, I think I’ve got that song “I believe I can fly” floating around in my head.
So vision boards placed in a prominent place where you can see it and remind yourself every day of what you are aiming for is a strong personal goal setting booster and help you to remain focused and true to what you want. You might find the following guide on how to create a vision board really useful, I know I did.
On a smaller scale just having a small budgeting notebook/journal or using the notes section on your cell phone and ticking off your listed tasks will not only make you more efficient in regards to your time but it will also open your eyes on how you normally put off and delay, procrastinate and just generally waste time and money when doing things.
It takes strong commitment to not lose sight of what you are trying to achieve especially with a million and one distractions called life so making sure how to start setting goals is very important.
How to Budget and Save Money
When it comes to budgets I’m sure you’re already shrugging your shoulders and saying to yourself where am I going to find money to budget and save? I don’t know how to budget. But have you ever heard the phrase if you don’t see it, you won’t miss it? Well, when budget planning you need to develop this skill when saving.
Sometimes you just have to close your eyes and start and forget about the excuses. You will always need to buy groceries, you will always need to pay the bills so there’s no point in using that as a reason as not to know how to set up a budget smart.
Setting Up a Budget for the First Time
First of all, when setting up a budget for the very first time you need to know how much you earn and that includes everything that comes into your monthly or weekly earnings, your side job earnings and any other hustle that you might have going on.
The next thing is to deduct all your expenses; so rent/mortgage, utilities, travel expenses, insurances, groceries, everything so that includes what you bought for lunch this week too, rather than bringing lunch from home that could have saved you some money.
It takes some sacrifice but it must not be seen as a punishment because remember there is an end goal to your budgeting. By creating weekly, monthly, and annual budgets you can see where you can cut back or increase on. Have a read of this post for more goals for your budget.
For instance, if you notice that one of your utilities is increasing each month there may be something you can do to change and reduce that or if there is no change to your lifestyle there may be an issue that you can rectify with the utility company. Here are a few easy to use budgeting templates that you can use from Office 365.
Whatever savings you make by being more financially savvy with your lifestyle, instead of spending it you can save it or use it to top up your mortgage payments each month and the best way to go about this is to set up an automatic standing order with your bank to deduct this amount each week or month.
Remember when I said if you don’t see it you won’t miss it? Well, this is the method I meant. As soon as you get paid whether you work for yourself or someone else treat your savings like an expense, you know, just like a utility bill and pay into it straight away. That way it will not be missed making it easier to achieve your goals.
I’m sure you would be pretty surprised if you made a note of all, and I mean all the non-essential items that you spent on in one week. Try it, I promise you, you won’t believe it!
Just imagine if you saved that amount every week. How much would that be at the end of the month, at 6 months, at the end of the year?
>>>Why not get yourself some cash envelopes to really stick to your budget?
Add that to the savings made taking lunch or breakfast to work rather than buying from a store or coffee shop and the amount saved would be even greater. But hey, don’t forget to reward yourself with a treat every now and then. This can be a part of your goal setting plan too.
Reward Yourself When Saving
Want to know how to set goals and achieve them? You can reward yourself by setting mini-goals using goal setting worksheets that at the end of the month, will show you how close you are to achieving your small goal to reward yourself.
You can go out for a group lunch with your work colleagues, buy that top you’ve been eyeing up for a while. You set up these goals so that you have something to look forward to after all that saving and self-denial of all the fun things you usually do. So really all you’re doing is just curbing and adjusting your regular spending habits.
Setting budgets and goals is not as hard as it’s made out to be it’s just taking that first step. Once you get that ball rolling and you start seeing the positive results there will be no stopping you seeing your financial dreams turn into reality.
If you found this post helpful don’t forget to pin it for later and as always share it with others.
Budgeting Topics of interest:
- Best Money Saving Apps to Use This Year
- Great Paying Work From Home Opportunities
- Ways to Save Money for the Holiday Season
- 5 User Testing Sites To Make Some Extra Money
- Ideal Ways to Lower Your Cell Phone Bill