WHY YOU MUST HAVE A BUDGET IN 2016 AND 1 SIMPLE WAY TO CREATE IT!
As we go into 2016, it is important to clearly outline expected sources of income and spend. For salary earners, this is a little easier to predict as there is an expected salary pattern. For business owners, please set income targets. This will enable you drive yourself and your team towards set goals.
Why is it important to have a personal budget?
- It helps you to spend within your income. Sometimes when you don’t have a budget, you think you can afford something and indulge in unplanned spending.
- To achieve financial goals: When you have a budget, you become more deliberate with your investments. Personally, I set a financial goal for myself each year. Example, in 2015, I wanted to acquire a certain investment and started saving towards from day 1. Another example may be to clear out your loans.
- Helps plan for retirement: You may think you are too young for this but let me blow your mind. You should start planning from retirement from the 1st day you join your job. Imagine you start working at 25 years old and retire at 50 years old but live for another 20 years without an active income! This means you only have 25 years of active earning to take care of yourself and family whilst working and another 20 years when you’ve retired. So if you think what you earn is not enough today, what will happen when you stop earning?
The elements of a good budget include:
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, and 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, quality clothing (note not designer clothing only ), private education in Nigeria where public education system is failing and more. I know these expenses are high but the trick with expenses is that it rises to meet your income .
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 can’t love others more than yourself.
Tithe: Based on belief system
Cash is king: Have some buffer in the system. Things don’t always go as planned 100%. 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 can’t exchange your gold necklace for your children’s school-fees.
Vacations: In our parent’s time, they hardly took international vacations! But I know times have changed and we need to create instagram pictures lazing by the beach like Kim K. Remember, there are nice places to relax in Nigeria .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 to reduce your costs.
2016 will be a relatively tough economic year for Nigeria, you don’t need to be an economist to know that- crude oil price is at all -time low of 38$ per barrel, Naira has fallen to all time low of N260 = 1 dollar with ‘aboki’, Even the government is issuing fines and penalties to improve income levels! You better shine your eyes too.
Please download our free 2016 budget template and share with friends too! FAMILY BUDGET MRSCEONAIJA