Personal Finance:Know your priorities

Have you ever realised that it is easier to spend than to save? Well that’s normal because all our needs are met through spending.

Have you ever realised that it is easier to spend than to save? Well that’s normal because all our needs are met through spending.

If this is one of your challenges, never mind. Here is how you can meet all your spending needs, save for your goals and still live the life you aspire to.

Firstly, know what is essential for you by setting up your financial record and try to see your spending habits. Know how much of your money you spend every day, check the debts you have, and see what you have been buying for the last month, check your account balance. Then look at things that were not met last month to get a clear picture of where you are right now.

Try to rearrange your spending log. List your needs, according to their importance. Don’t mind what comes at the top- this will help you be realistic. Match your log with spending on one side and saving on the other. Make sure you put a duration for each item and why it is necessary at that time. Try to be honest and remove or list down an item that was a priority last month but which is not needed much now.

Allocate your money according to the reasons you have put on each item as you also look at its duration. You can be free to transfer some money allocated for one item to the other.

Avoid using money without looking at your log and knowing where you are removing that money from. Remember it is alright to reduce or cut down the amount allocated to the other items on your log to meet any other spending need that may arise.

For couples, you need to match each individual’s logs. Don’t mind how your partner will see it when they look at your spending log that is perhaps full of petty spending needs that may not ring a bell in their minds.

It is that financial honesty and openness that gives confidence to your partner.

Set goals by looking at your values. Each person’s values should be considered. If you have children, let them list down their needs basing on what they feel they want that month and list what they feel is a common goal for the family. The more people get the common goal, the easier it is to cut down on your spending.  At the saving side of your log, which is a checker on your spending side, divide it in two ways: the long term and short term. Try to be lenient with yourself here. If you plan to put aside Rwf1,000 for your long term item that cannot be met this month, you can still forego it or allocate less money than expected. However, don’t abandon it.

Now you can see how best you can enjoy your income by meeting all your spending needs while  saving concurrently.


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