Determine your overall income.
Are you on a fixed salary where you know for certain how much you’re taking home each week? Are you a freelancer whose salary varies each month? Having a rough idea of how much money you can expect to earn is key in creating a successful budget.
Identify how you’re spending money.
What are the bills that you have to pay every month? Do you go out to dinner with friends every Friday night or go to the movies once a week? Looking at where your money is going will give you a better handle on tracking it.
Add up the amounts of your regular expenses and subtract it from your paycheck amount.
Do you get a negative number? If so, you are living way beyond your means.
Don’t over budget.
It sounds fairly obvious, but it’s easy to over budget even when you have one in place. Be mindful of your spending habits and what your money is going towards.
Keep a journal.
In the early stages of keeping a budget, it might be helpful to keep a daily journal of your spending habits. Write out what you spend money on each day. Keep an eye for repeated purchases which might be easily avoidable, like a trip to Simba for coffee every morning.
Don’t count on windfalls
Don’t factor in potential sources of revenue such as year-end bonuses. You only want to include guaranteed money into your budget.
Leave your ATM card at home.
When you’re out for the night, it’s very easy (and tempting) to leave your Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cared at the bar and ring up a tab. Don’t! This is a very easy way to ring up a high bill that will set you way off budget.
Take your money out for the week at once
If you only want to spend Rwf.15, 000 each week, go to the ATM on Monday and take it all out then. Once you run out of the money for the week, that’s it.
Don’t live in eutopia.
The life you now live is real and no other one to come ahead. So spend your money as if you’ll never get any other tomorrow.
Avoid intended borrowing routine
Some people have the bad habit of spending completely what they have with the hope of borrowing from a close friend, shylock or advances from banks. Try to avoid this as much as possible.
Don’t be too generous
Never exhaust your money giving out to friends or relatives in a bid to gain fame or be seen as a kindhearted person. This is like committing suicide while hungry.