the other day, while i was browsing the Business/Money section of the Inquirer, an article about budgeting caught my eye.
a reader posted a question about the topic, and it says:
"I know that a budget is important to better handle your money. However, no matter how much I work on my budget, I always end up going over it. Is it because my salary is too small? I don’t know what to do. How can I have a budget that works with my small salary?"
tut-tut. sounds familiar no? like the reader is asking in behalf of all of us.
the article listed tips on how to work on your budget (you can read them here), and i agree with them that visualizing and listing down all (and i mean ALL) your expenses can really help you work it out with the little money you're getting every payday. the above article also reminds me of a decision i made a few years back.
you see, four years ago, during my pre-amortization days, i already have a budget, i.e. budget for gimiks, budget for movies, budget for things that are not really important (like cd's, magazines and some more magazines *wink wink*). when the realization came that life is not all about gimiks (that's slang for going out/barhopping) and i need to have a concrete foundation for the future, that's the time i gave budgeting a serious thought, and this time, priorities should be read as priorities (okey, so separate the "needs" from "wants").
when i listed down my daily and other petty expenses, nanlaki mata ko that i am spending so much on movies (like almost P500 a week), transportation (taxi araw-araw?) and eating out. if i want to pursue my plan of getting a house of my own, unabated spending like these should be controlled, if not eliminated.
at first, it was hard. and i mean really hard. it's like having a withdrawal syndrome, or like having yummy food on your plate but you're not allowed to touch it, much more eat it. i am depriving myself of an almost daily dose of watching movie/s, the comfort of taxi ride, i thought i was being hard on myself. but, as our parents would always tell us, roads to your dreams are never easy, kasama ang sakripisyo dyan.
and sacrifice i did.
i learned how to control my movie watching habit, taxi is now only an option when i am in a hurry. eating out? still do that, but you can eat out without spending so much, i am spending for the food not for the ambiance, and besides, andaming pwedeng idiscover na murang kainan. in other words, i learned how to be practical with life.
the complete turnaround was a good decision, i was able to go with my plan and slowly i am reaping the fruits of my little sacrifice. if i didn't do this, i don't know if i can buy some things for the house, or for myself or if i can have savings at all (well, i still don't have, but at least i am seeing where my supposedly savings are going).
the road is not really that well-paved, there are some bumps here and there, i took those bumps as a sign to slow down and eventually they will pass and off you go running again.
the payday is nearing again, do i hear complains that you won't have enough to save? baka naman you are really spending so much on something not needed. cmon, sit and list down your expenses and compared them with the amount you are getting, and oh, that starbucks coffee is really expensive, try something else. :)
i am not an expert on this, i just write based on experience (and pains).
how about you?