Isn’t it time to stop living for payday? Many millennials fall into this trap and are often criticized for their seemingly innate and unapologetic habit of being frivolous spenders. Ironically, they also complain about their disadvantaged economic standing due to exorbitant real estate prices, inflation, student loans and a constantly increasing cost of living. Therefore, while it would seem inevitable to be forced into a life of frugality, this is not the case. Why can’t we seem to let go of the habits that put a dent on our pockets? Why do we continue to pile up our debt like pieces of a Jenga puzzle? It’s no wonder that everything comes crashing down with one wrong move.
However, as a millennial myself, I don’t wish to dwell on the negative aspects as I am no stranger to the mantras ‘the struggle is real’ and ‘adulting is hard’. Instead, while there’s still time to dust off our already shelved New Year’s resolutions, I would like to share my top five personal budgeting tips. In this way, I can assure you that you’d find ways to have your cake and eat it too (or at least the slice that you can afford lol)
Get a budget and stick to it
In true millennial style we know that there is definitely an app for that so don’t be afraid to delete last year’s selfies to make space for it. Having quick access to a budgeting app will allow you to make updates on the spot. While I hated budgeting at first, now it actually gives me peace of mind and allows me to clearly see how I am allocating my funds. At the beginning of each month, I use the app to reconcile the previous month as well as adjust figures for the current month’s expenses. During the month, be sure to reevaluate to ensure that you are sticking to your budget or making the necessary adjustments. It takes some getting used to but it gets easier over time and it’s definitely worth the effort
Lose the F.O.M.O (Fear Of Missing Out)
In today’s culture, many of us suffer from FOMO syndrome. Simply put, we are so focused on experiencing as much as possible and possessing all the ‘must haves’ that we even adopt destructive habits to keep up with the Joneses. One of these habits is reckless spending and we can curb this by getting our priorities in order. Set a realistic budget and be assured that life will go on if you don’t constantly update to the latest gadgets or go to every social gathering. I’m not saying that you should all be minimalists but one of my favourite posts on this blog definitely offers great tips for prioritizing, decluttering and saving money.
Visualize your future
As the famous meme says, ‘money isn’t everything but I’d rather cry in a BMW than on a bike’. We all have plans for the future, visualizing them will keep you on the right track to achieve your financial goals. Vision boards have definitely been popping up more recently because having a realistic picture to refer to is a great source of motivation. Set your long term goals and put short term goals in place to achieve them. Many fail to recognise the power of good habits but ensuring that you are financially literate now will ultimately have a positive impact on your future
Avoid debt like the plague
In my opinion, standing orders is one of the best ways to ensure that essential and recurring payments are taken care of every month so you don’t fall into debt. Beware of credit cards as they can do more harm in the long run so be honest with yourself and ditch the credit if you have can’t manage it. Nonetheless, there are instances where it is necessary to take a loan but ensure that you seek expert advice in these cases. Lastly, remember that it’s not enough to be debt free but also find a way to set aside savings each month even if it’s only a little.
In the midst of all the budgeting advice, remember to be flexible. It’s always easy to justify an unwarranted expense with a ‘Y.O.L.O (you only live once)’ but we must also strike a healthy balance. There are times when we spend over budget due factors such as life changes, special occasions or retail therapy. That’s where the occasional review and adjustment of your budget is especially important. In addition, having an emergency fund will prove to be a huge help to offset large and unexpected (emergency) expenses.
I hope you found these tips to be helpful and happy budgeting in 2019. Let us know some of your useful budgeting tips or greatest challenges.
About Kimberly ~ She always had a passion for languages which led her to pursue a degree in Spanish at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine. She volunteered as a blogger for Bocas Lit Fest (2017 and 2018) as well as Green Screen- The Environmental Film Festival (2017) and hopes that her writing will serve as an inspiration and a means of entertainment for all readers. Her interests include graphic design, reading, baking, travel, and photography. You can find her on Instagram and be sure to check out her blog, Extension of Expression!
Thank you, Kimberly!
Published: February 4, 2019 5:00 AM