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How to Create a Budget and Stick to It

May 22, 2023 | By AjoVest


Personal financial management is more crucial than ever in the fast-paced world of today. Making and following a budget is one of the essential strategies for achieving financial success. You can manage your income and spending using a budget, spot problem areas, and eventually reach your financial objectives. In this blog article, we'll walk you through the process of making a budget that works for your way of life and offer helpful advice on how to keep it up.


Here are ten (10) steps to creating a budget and sticking to it below:


 Step 1:


 What is the source of my money? 

Getting a clear view of your financial situation is a good place to start. All of these sources should be taken into account when determining what resources you have to make ends meet, whether you are self-employed, working several jobs, receiving child support, or receiving government benefits. Start by using our savings application to enter every naira of your income. 



 Step 2:


 What happens to my money? 

Keeping track of your expenditures will help you obtain an accurate picture of where your money is generally going, but it is also the most difficult task. With the aid of our savings application, you can keep track of your expenses and group them according to things like utilities, housing, dining out, and entertainment. Start small and examine your spending one week at a time by analyzing your receipts or monitoring your account if this seems overwhelming. Starting a daily cost notebook can help you remember to record those minor outlays that, over time, add up, such as buying breakfast or lunch rather than packing it.



Step 3: 


What bills are due when and what are they all for? 

The timing of your payments and your income may not line up if you find yourself short towards the end of the month. You should create a bill calendar to help you remember when your payments are due while also keeping track of the weeks you need to be cautious with your spending. Your credit ratings and your financial health may be negatively impacted more severely by missing payments or paying bills beyond the due date. 



Step 4: 


Set up your operating budget.

Our savings application brings everything together so you have a workable and realistic budget once you've listed all of your sources of income, begin monitoring your expenses, and note when your payments are due.



Step 5: 


Examine your present financial situation

Understanding your present financial situation is essential before beginning to budget. Gather information about your income to start, such as your salary, any side jobs you may have, or any other sources of money. List all of your subsequent expenses, including rent or mortgage payments, utilities, groceries, travel expenses, debt repayments, and personal spending.



Step 6: 


Set financial objectives.

Establish your short- and long-term financial objectives. Paying off credit card debt, putting money aside for a vacation, or creating an emergency fund are examples of short-term objectives. Long-term objectives may include supporting your children's education, retiring comfortably, or purchasing a property. Your motivation to keep to your budget will increase if you have particular goals in mind.


Step 7: 


Make a Budget That Is Realistic

It's time to make a budget that supports your financial objectives now that you have a clear picture of your income and spending. Think about the following actions:

 a) Group your spending by type: For example, divide your housing, transportation, grocery, debt repayment, entertainment, and savings costs into several groups. This will make it easier for you to see where your money is going and show you where, if necessary, you can make cuts.


b) Distribute your income: Based on your priorities and debt commitments, allot a precise sum to each area of expenses. Allocate the remaining cash for discretionary expenditure after paying for necessary costs and saving.


c) Monitor your spending: Use a spreadsheet or a budgeting tool to keep tabs on your outgoing cash flow. This will support your accountability and allow you to make necessary modifications. Many applications even automatically classify your spending, saving you time and effort.




Step 8: 


Cut costs and save more money

If you discover that your spending are greater than your income, it's time to assess the situation and make changes. Investigate strategies to reduce your discretionary expenditures. Consider negotiating reduced utility or subscription service prices, preparing meals at home, or avoiding driving altogether. Use the savings to further your financial objectives.


Step 9: 


Be prepared for unforeseen costs

Building an emergency fund is crucial since life is full of unexpected events. Put some of your monthly salary aside in a different savings account. Try to save enough money for three to six months' worth of expenses. Having an emergency fund will provide you with a safety net and prevent unforeseen costs from throwing your budget off course.



 Step 10: 


Keep your discipline and your course intact.

Making a budget is just the beginning; maintaining it demands discipline and perseverance.  Outlined are some principles to help you remain on the right track:

a) Regularly evaluate your budget: Schedule time each month to go through your spending plan and gauge your success. To account for changes in income or spending, adjust as appropriate.


b) Automate your savings: Set up automatic transfers to your investment portfolio or savings account on the Ajovest application, available on the web, Android, and iOS. By doing this, you can regularly save money without relying just on willpower.


 c) Find a partner for accountability: Talk to a friend or family member who can assist in holding you accountable for your budgeting journey. Speaking with someone else about your development and difficulties may be a source of inspiration and support.


d) Celebrate significant anniversaries: acknowledge and honor your progress. You'll stay motivated and promote good financial habits if you treat yourself when you hit financial milestones.


In Summary:

Here are steps to create a budget and stick to it:

  1.  What is the source of my money
  2.  What happens to my money
  3. What bills are due when and what are they all for
  4. Set up your operating budget
  5. Examine your present financial situation
  6. Set financial objectives.
  7. Make a Budget That Is Realistic
  8. Cut costs and save more money
  9. Be prepared for unforeseen costs
  10. Keep your discipline and your course intact.


In Conclusion;


Finding a budgeting strategy that works for you is the key to doing so. Others find success utilizing automatic savings and monitoring systems, while others flourish using spreadsheets and meticulously documenting every spend. The secret to long-term budgeting is choosing the method that works best for your requirements and personality.