Budget on fleek? Chances are, not likely. Research suggests that a huge number of women live pay day to pay day, and only a small number of us even use a detailed budget!
C’mon ladies, how are we supposed to be Beyonce worthy independent women if we can’t get our finances together?
Yes, living on and sticking to a budget can be boring as fuck, but it also could be the difference between living on baked beans through your retirement or being able to eat copious amounts of cheese and drinking wine on a yacht in the Amalfi Coast.
Which sounds more appealing? ….Thought so.
Taking control of your spending habits means you can get your finances back on track, which I promise will ultimately mean you get to do MORE of what you love.
I have created a simple, no bullshit, easy to follow budget than even the most frivolous spender can stick to – AND still have that monthly splurge at Sephora (if that’s what you’re into)
STEP ONE – Show me what your workin’ with.
You need to figure out how much you have to work with every month. Open your last pay slip and write down what you get paid after taxes. You may also be getting second or third incomes (yeah girl, hustle) – add these to the list.
STEP TWO – Fixed Expenses.
List all the expenses you have that are ‘fixed’ – these are your non-negotiables. Coffee and Chanel belts don’t count, babe. I’m talking rent, mortgage repayments, phone bills, electricity, health insurance etc. The boring life responsibilities that none of us really want, but the ones we just have, ok?
Now, not all of these expenses are billed regularly or are a fixed amount – but you can bet your bottom dollar that they’re still coming. Come up with a fortnightly average of those bills. For example, if you pay insurance yearly, calculate the amount you pay per year and divide it by 26 (fortnights per year) aaand ta-da! There’s your fortnightly amount.
Now, add all of these amounts together – this is the amount that you should (read: must) put away in a separate account that you can’t access when you’re three martinis deep, so when these bills arrive, you’re ready.
STEP THREE – Variable Expenses.
This step is where some of you lovely ladies come unstuck. Variable expenses such as gym memberships, clothes shopping, hair appointments and Friday drinks are ‘discretionary’ amounts. If you’ve never kept a budget before, this is going to be tough – but girrrlllll, you gotta curb that spending.
Trust me, I know how easy it is to convince yourself that you’ve earned three pairs of tights and two new sport bras from Lululemon – but if you find yourself relying on your credit card because you’re skint and waiting for the next pay to come through – there’s your issue.
STEP FOUR – Everyone Loves Leftovers.
Add all of your fixed and variable amounts together. Minus the expenses from your income and you will have an amount left over (hopefully – shit, if you don’t, call me, I’ll organise the intervention)
STEP FIVE – Long Term Goals.
The last step (and the most satisfying) is what to do with your leftover money. Ideally, this should be put towards your long term goals. Saving for a house deposit? Holiday in Greece? Credit card debt that’s killing your vibe? A retirement that’s baked bean free? The idea behind all of this is to make saving a priority over spending. You should decide how much you want to save every fortnight and work out where and if you need to cut back in your fixed and variable expenses.
If you’re still with me here – congratulations! But there’s still one last thing I’d like you to do.
You need to sit down and evaluate your budget. Let’s be realistic about where your money is actually going and if there are better ways you could be spending it. Are you genuinely happy with how much you’re saving, or do you really need to cut back on the smashed avo dates three times a week?
It’s time to get real. Analyse your habits and create a guideline for yourself. It’s ok to give yourself an allowance for brunch with the girls, or Kylies new bloody lip kit. But don’t, I repeat, DO NOT go over it.
If you’ve never used a budget before, it’s not likely that this will be an overnight success. Test the budget, make changes, get realistic. Budgets are a work in progress and let’s be honest, money is important.
Saving is sexy babe, get crackin’