Huge debts can be incurred when people spend above what they have budgeted for in a particular period of time. Therefore, the need for budgeting and adhering strictly to it have continuously been emphasised by financial experts.
Our daily activities can be handled better by using strategies that will eliminate irrelevant expenses, they add.
Budgeting, according to experts, provides a platform for making wise financial decisions, as long as you spend within the boundaries of your resources.
Financial experts note that budgeting is a means of balancing expenses against income.
Distinguish between needs and wants
Cambridge online dictionary says ‘wants’ means “to wish for a particular thing or plan of action” while it defines ‘needs’ as “the things you must have for a satisfactory life.”
Experts note that people waste their financial resources on wants to the detriment of their needs and savings.
A business consultant, Mr. James Ademola, says that in order to minimise spending, the buyer should always analyse the importance of the item. He says it can be forgone if there is an alternative to it.
He adds, “If it is an item that can be replaced with another one which you already have in your possession, then you can leave it and buy more important ones. Each time you are about to buy an item, ask yourself, do I need these clothes or do I just want it? If it is a want, ask yourself, will I be able to wear it regularly? Can I afford to buy it? Is the item included in my budget?
“These honest questions will help you to distinguish between a want and a need and help you to make the right decisions.”
Have a written plan
When a person goes into business, they create a business plan which becomes the blueprint of their business.
Likewise, a financial analyst, Mr. Femi Adeleke, says having a financial plan can help in setting a budgetary target for expenses every month.
He says this can be achieved by involving the whole family in it, including the children. Doing this, he says, will assist the children in learning basic things about money management early in life.
The analyst says when it appears that expenditure is getting too much within the month, you can go back to check the plan in order to regulate your spending.
Manage your monthly expenses
Adeleke suggests that people can assess how much they have been able to adhere strictly to their monthly budget and find cheaper and more beneficial alternatives to expensive items.
“Is it possible to subscribe to a cheaper cable television subscription and leave the expensive ones? Can you limit the amount you spend to recharge your phone lines by using only one of your lines to make calls? Are there business promotions on retail purchases that you can take advantage?” he asks.
Consider your future goals
Ademola notes that one of the ways of stopping bad spending habit is to avoid taking spontaneous decisions, analyse the situation of things appropriately and examine your future goals.
“Whenever you have the urge to spend beyond your monthly budget, remind yourself of your future plans and the amount required to achieve your set goals. Remember the time limit you have set for retirement, the certificate you intend to get, the property you have planned to purchase, your financial obligations towards your children and other commitments you have,” he adds.
Manage your utility spending
Utilities are expensive but can save money when their usage is monitored both at home and in the office. Experts say the monthly bills from basic infrastructure like electricity, water, gas and transport can be minimised to make allowance for saving.
The add that setting up rules in the home such as not washing items directly under the tap but getting the water in a container before usage; turning the lights and fans off when leaving the room, setting a timer when cooking, switching off gadgets when they are no longer in use can assist in reducing the rate at which they are exhausted in some cases and reduce cost.
Adeleke suggests that another great money saver is buying of energy-saving bulbs and gadgets such as refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, washers and air conditioners to reduce cost of electricity.
Stock up items
One of the basic needs of man that is indispensable is food. Experts say the amount spent on food everyday can be enormous. However, they say buying food items in bulk can reduce the cost.
Adeleke says food purchased in bulk reduces expenses because per unit cost is much cheaper.
“Once this is done, immediate food need is guaranteed and the remaining unused food item can be kept in the store until needed. Perishable foods like meat, fish, vegetables and fruit can also be bought in bulk and preserved by traditional methods or frozen to prevent spoilage,” he says.
He suggests that shopping in bulk from a warehouse can be explored, because it saves a lot of money