Budgeting is an essential part of financial planning that many people fall short in. However, it is never too late to learn how to manage money and create meaningful savings that will allow you to achieve your goals. As a business professional, you need to be able to dress professionally, network, and participate in networking events while maintaining your budget, which can be challenging. These next-level budgeting tips will help you accomplish just that.
Take budgeting to the detail level
Too often, when people create a budget, they are too vague with their expenses. The more detailed your budget is, the easier it will be to follow because there won’t be any wiggle room. When creating a budget, break down your expenses by set bills and the variable payments. For example, your mortgage or rent, utilities, car payment, and insurance are set bills. While there is always some control, these are the expenses you have less control over (you can possibly lower payments every month, but the fact remains that you’ll have to pay them, regardless).
Your variable expenses are the ones you have more control over because you determine how much you spend each month. These expenses include food, gas, leisure activities, and other types of shopping. The key is not to go over just because you can. For example, if you are under budget on your grocery bill this month, that doesn’t mean you should go over budget buying a new television. When you come in under budget, that extra amount stays within that category of your budget for the following month.
Building spending money into your budget may feel impossible, particularly if you are living paycheck-to-paycheck. However, when you do not build in a little spending money, you are setting yourself up for failure. Expecting that you can completely live without any leisure activities, food on the go, clothes, or extra items is unrealistic. When you feel deprived, you are more likely to spend money (designated for bills) on items you don’t need as a means of pampering yourself for all your hard work.
The way to do this responsibly is to designate a specific amount within your budget for spending money each month and then decide in advance what you will spend that money on, so you are not tempted to buy things you cannot afford. The moral of this story? Treat yourself, but treat yourself wisely.
Take price comparison to the next level
Money Gains is an online company that has taken price comparisons to the next level. They can help consumers track down the best prices and deals on the market. Their first online comparison site was for residents of Northern Ireland to compare electricity tariffs or plans. Their website also provides valuable articles on ways to save money and a community of people to share ideas and information with. They are focused on offering consumers the opportunity to have better control over their finances by getting the best prices on needed expenses. An important thing to note, is that the comparisons you learn about are independent and non-partisan. Money Gains offers their services free to those interested in getting the best value for their money.
Choose quality over quantity
Too often, when focused on budgeting, people buy the cheapest options. However, those options do not always last, so in the long-run, they are spending more money because the things they buy do not last as long as the slightly more expensive options. As a business professional, you will need nice attire, shoes, and accessories to go to work each day. Buying quality items is more cost-efficient than buying cheap clothes that will look ragged or fall apart quickly. White House Black Market is a woman’s fashion company that offers petite dresses, blouses, tops, pants, jackets, and more. They offer high-quality, classic women’s clothes that will hold up and last multiple seasons. Now that’s a good investment worth making.