2015 Family budget: Tips and tools

As we go into 2015, it is important to clearly define expected sources of income. For salary earners, this is a little easier to predict as there is an expected salary pattern. For business owners, please set revenue targets. This will enable you drive yourself and your team towards set goals.

Investment: Define what percentage of your total income you plan to invest. Generally, i do a 25-40% across different forms- paper assets such as shares/stock, treasury bills, landed properties, bank deposits, working capital into new and existing business e.t.c

Expenses: Ask your self the question- ‘ Do i need this?‘ If you don’t, then it is a want. There are some basic needs of man: Food, shelter/rent, clothing (note not designer clothing only :-)), private education in Nigeria where public education system is failing and some other unavoidable important costs peculiar to Nigeria.  I know these expenses are high but the trick with expenses is that it rises to meet your needs and YOU need to put them in their place. 🙂 Who doesn’t love the luxury nice things of life! Least i forget, aso-ebi is not a need :-). it is a nice- to- have so be selective.

Donations/help: In our very communal country, no one person is responsible for just herself. It is important to lend a helping hand occasionally. There are genuine friends and family members to help and i do this. However, i typically assign a fixed percentage to this per month. Once this ‘pot’ is exhausted, then that is it for the month. Sometime, there are deviations to the norm but these are real exceptions. I recall one of my old associates asking  for funds to do a little end of year party as he typically does it, was broke and wanted to maintain his O.B.O Status :-). Ofcourse i said no.  Define what percentage of your income is assigned to giving/donations/helping others. At the end of the day, you cant love others more than yourself.

Tithe: Based on belief system

Cash is king: Have some buffer in the system. Things dont always go as planned 100%. Its life. At the end of the day, you need some cash in the system to meet daily obligations and surprises! Sadly, the days of trade by barter are over so you cant exchange your gold necklace for your childrens schoolfees.

Vacations: In our parents time, they hardly took international vacations! at least in Ibadan where i grew up 🙂 But i get it, the times have changed and we  need to create instagram pictures lazing by the beach like Kim K.  All i can say is be wise! Dont eat your seed! There are nice places to relax in Nigeria, then Africa. Don’t start with the Bahamas!:-). You can alternate things e.g do a local vacation this year, then an international/bloggers inspired one in the next year. You can pool with close family friends to share costs e.g nanny costs, car hire e.t.c. You can build loyalty with specific brand names e.g Hotels, gain travel points with airlines e.t.c to reduce your costs.

At the end of the day, its all about BALANCE. Enjoy today, live life! But keep an eye open for the future too! Goodluck! Ooops! I mean i wish you success.

Please, download our budget tracker template below.


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