Your first step towards achieving your financial goals is to set a plan. Planning in financial terms is expressed through a budget - this is a detailed plan of your income and all your expenses. It is an important tool that will show you your spending habits and ensure you are always aware of your financial status.
There are some key steps to consider when drawing up your budget.
Step 1: Prioritise
When drawing up your budget, make sure your top priorities are listed first which should include food and shelter, water, electricity and transport as well as savings.
Step 2: Plan for emergencies
It’s hard to plan for all emergencies so it’s important to have a savings fund that can cover any unexpected situations.
Step 3: Budget for the things you love to do
Budget for the things you love to do. You work hard for your money, so you deserve to spend it on the things you love, just remember not to spend money you do not have.
Step 4: Set financial goals
Whether you want to save money for your child's education, a new appliance, or your retirement, set realistic goals and stick to them.
Step 5: Track your money
Here are some handy tips to keeping you on track with your budget:
Use any extra money to pay off and settle your debt faster
Distinguish between wants and needs
Scale down if your expenses exceed your income every month
Update your budget regularly with changes to interest, annual increase in your salary or unforeseen circumstances
Stick to your budget!
Drawing up your budget can be scary because it is a reality check but if you are ready to face your reality and make a commitment, you are well on your way to achieving financial success.
If you need financial advice or assistance, please contact a Standard Bank or Stanbic Bank branch in your country. For a list of countries in which we operate, go to www.standardbank.com and select your country from the menu item in the top right of the site.