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Living on a budget is not the most attractive option when you’re trying to sort out your finances. However, not many of us have the luxury of large pay cheques to afford a lavish lifestyle – so, we do need a budget. Besides, it is definitely better to live on a budget than to be living under the burden of debts.
When we talk about budgets, we don’t mean that you barely scrape through. It is instead, to help you find a better outlook on your life – a life where you don’t need to be worried about where or how you’ll get the money from.
Successful budgeting is all about establishing goals and making smart choices. Here’s how you can live the champagne lifestyle with lemonade wages:
You need to set your financial goals. Be specific about them. It could be anything like purchasing a house or paying off your debt. Identify them and list them down. Make sure you have both your short term and long term goals (retirement funds, precautionary funds, etc.) recognised and acknowledged, before you get started. These will keep you motivated.
It may not be possible for you to accomplish all of your goals together within the constraints of your budget. So, go ahead and prioritise. May be, the house can wait until you’ve paid off all your debts. But, before that, you want to complete your post-graduate degree. Rank your goals in order of importance. This will help you focus on one goal at a time and allow you to tackle it better.
Ever heard the phrase “don’t bite more than you can chew”? You have to take a similar approach with budgeting. Yes, there might be a lot that you wish to accomplish financially, but keep your pace realistic. Ambitiously planning your goals and actions will only lead to a fall out on your journey towards active budgeting – not something you want when you’re going after the champagne lifestyle.
You obviously get a pay cheque. Evaluate your monthly income and then quantify your goals accordingly – one at a time. For example, you wish to get back to school in the next six months (assuming it’s realistic and doable), figure out how much you need to save every month to cover the back-to-school costs. Once that is done, begin setting that amount aside for the next 6 months.
Life comes at you fast. One minute is never the same as the one that follows it. So, you can’t expect to live on the same budget plan all your life. You may find a better job. Your priorities could change, or maybe you don’t want to pursue your PhD anymore. This is where you revisit your budgets and see where and how you need to make worthy changes to continue living comfortably.
Your budget will need a revision every time you accomplish a goal. In addition to that, there may be unexpected expenses popping up that have the tendency to upset your budget. Make sure you make the necessary revisions and see your goals are met without disruption.
Now that you know the drill, put these practical strategies to work and observe the difference.
Remember, a comfortable lifestyle has more to do with smart planning than it is to do with the amount of money you earn!
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