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BUDGETING…. “OH NO, IT IS MONTH END AGAIN!”

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Are you one of those people frustrated by paydays and month ends?

No need for frustration, it’s time for you to rise above your financial situation and start being the boss over your money.
Budgeting, in simple terms, is a plan for what you intent to do with the money you have. It is important to keep track of how you spend your money. In that way, you develop a system of ruling out things that do not add value to your financial lifestyle; you can sacrifice some items in order to increase your saving coffers.
First, we must understand that money is the most liquid of all assets, that is, it is prone to quick depletion or exhaustion if not used thriftily. Now let’s get in to the practical tips for budgeting:

1. Know how much you have.
This involves your pay, interests earned, pocket money received or any source of income that you are certain money will come through.
Do not raise your hopes assuming that whoever owes you will definitely pay on your command. It is not always the case that debtors will pay on the stipulated time. Rather have a separate budget of all your debtors and attend to each item as and when you receive money. Spare the money for your savings, rather than as part of your daily spending.  You wouldn’t like any inconveniences.

2. Know what you are going to spend it on.
It can be rent, insurance, utilities, groceries, school fees etc. You know better. Be realistic on this one: include even those that you think hold insignificant value to your budget such as lunch at work, entertainment, tips, bank charges and so on.

3. Consider contingencies.
When you go for shopping, take a list of what you need first before you leave.  There are so many goodies in stores and you don’t want to fall into a trap of impulsive buying. Be aware that prices change and you may have to pay out for things you weren’t expecting.

4.  Do not forget to save… no matter how little.

5. Keep records
Now that you have detailed your sources of income against your expenditure, attend to    each item as it is on paper. Keep receipts, do not throw them away. I know it can be tedious but you can get the shock of your life if you start adding each one of them.
6. Make changes
Find time to review your spending patterns, preferably before the next month end.   Correct yourself where you went astray and don’t forget to applaud yourself if you deserve it.
As you do the review, pay attention to the use of substances and how they affect your budget.

Ask yourself the following questions:

Does a large fraction of my money go into substance use?
Do I use money on substances even when it was not intended for that?
Am I tempted to indulge in substance use whenever I have money or even go to the extent of going into my savings?
Is substance use a priority or top of the list whenever I budget?
Do I feel bad or regret after using money on substances?
If you have answered “yes” to any of the above and you want help to work out your priorities in relation to substance use, contact BOSASNet to speak to one of our Counsellors in confidence. Call us 395 9119 or 72659891.
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