Do We REALLY Need to Budget?
So this week the budget was announced, and it seems that we are having to tighten our belts for what seems like the millionth consecutive year. At this rate we’re going to have to put another hole on the leather strip to ensure the buckle is tightly fastened. We seemed to have digressed with the belt metaphor, but that’s fine. It seems whenever the world ‘budget’ is mentioned, it is often attributed to immediately cutting out the good things in life, the things we actually enjoy. It doesn’t always need to be this way. If we ‘budget’, thinking about where we spend money that could probably be avoided, we should still be able to enjoy the luxuries in life. Just because the country is in a recession that is seemingly lasting about four thousand years, it doesn’t mean that we have to cut back on every single thing that makes us happy, that brings us joy and that we want to do in life. It’s often the menial things, the everyday spendings that we don’t even think about that make all the difference. If you start your day working through, we’re sure you could save plenty of money, and then still be able to spoil yourself every once in awhile. Perhaps you’ve been putting off a second meet with a blonde escort for far too long.
On average, how many times a week would you estimate you purchase a cup of coffee from the local place you walk past every morning? You might not think it’s a lot, but say the average cup of joe, in the morning, retails around £2.50. A one off, of course that is absolutely fine, but add that up. Say you have four a week, over the course of two months (that’s 10 weeks), you’ll have spent £100 on coffee. £100! That does seem a little extreme. And then there are the days that you want to treat yourself, and you pick up a little muffin or bagel to get you through the morning. That just adds up. Imagine how much you could save if you brought coffee in a carry cup, and then keep some cereal on your desk. That way you’ve already saved money before you’ve even started work and, let’s be honest, it’s all about pinching those pennies!
We feel that many of our points will probably revolve around food, but these seems to one of the places that most people unknowingly waste so much money. Think of all the times you’ve gone to Marks and Spencer to get a pre-made sandwich, a can of drink and some crisps, and had to whip out a note. If you buy all these from a supermarket, and make them at home, it will be ridiculously cheaper. And, let’s be honest, that is the whole aim of the game. Of course, we’re not saying always bring in a packed lunch. Sometimes you oversleep and don’t have time, and bringing in a pasta pot is not worth losing your job over. So don’t suddenly start to panic that you won’t be able to afford your next tattoo sitting or your mortgage payment because you deigned to have the £3 lunch meal at Subway of a Thursday afternoon. Think of it as a treat for working so hard.
Now, if making more money was as easy as going to your boss and saying ‘I’d very much like a pay rise so I can occasionally treat myself to a beautiful Asian companion or a new pair of loafers from Kurt Geiger’, we’d all be set for life. But unfortunately, in the real world, it doesn’t work like this. Rarely are you granted a pay rise when you just ask for it. Instead, you have to prove your worth, you have to work for it, you have to show that you are worth every single penny that they are going to give to you. It’s when you can see this through successfully that you know you are in the running for a bump up the scale.
As annoying as life can be, don’t we know it, it’s important that you don’t let the little things get you down. Whilst budgeting isn’t necessarily something that should be deemed a ‘little thing’, it can very quickly take over and control your life if you let it. You need to be proactive, put into place measures that ensure you don’t overspend every month, and that you have enough money to play around with should the need arise. By banning yourself from every good thing that you want to do, participate in or attend, you are going to end up rather miserable, and this in turn could affect your output at work which is, as we all know, our biggest source of income. In order to effectively budget and make sure that you’ve got a constant stream of money coming in that you can spend on yourself or others around you. So in the short run, saying no to every opportunity that comes your way, you will ultimately end up making yourself rather miserable. And if you’re in a relationship (those that aren’t, head on over to our dating rules, promptly), they might not be able to stand your pessimism. So let’s face the world with a smile on our face and a bit more money in our back pocket, thanks to the our budget tips.