It’s hard to keep track of all our daily expenses, especially the small purchases.
Too bad there isn’t some kind of record where you’ll have all your cash spending in one place, like your e-banking account when you’re paying with a debit card… Oh, wait – there is.
Or at least there can be, if you put some time and effort into it.
A financial planner can help you budget better, which can ultimately lead to saving more instead of spending more. Writing down every purchase, even the smallest one, can help you understand your spending habits better and work on them if necessary.
If you’re interested in creating your own planner, here are 5 categories that many people forget about, and they should definitely be a part of your planner.
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My Financial Goals
Dedicate one page to what you wish to accomplish during this year in terms of finances.
Do you have a specific savings goal? Is buying your first home your wish? Do you want to become financially independent or finish paying off your student debt?
Write down these goals. Break them down into smaller goals you can reach faster because that will motivate you to try harder and keep up. Write down the steps you can take to come closer to reaching your ultimate goal. Maybe even add some inspirational quotes.
Anything will work to create your own vision board that you can keep revisiting to remind yourself why you may be buying a new pair of shoes and running instead of paying for a gym membership.
Unexpected expenses can throw you off the path towards the goal you’ve set for yourself. When this happens, you may feel like you’d been doing everything in vain and give up on what you wanted.
If you don’t want to let this happen, it’s important to think about unexpected expenses before they become real ones. Medical emergencies, car engine breaking down, lending money to a family member… You should bear in mind these things happen all the time, and you should have it covered.
Write down how much money you can leave aside for these expenses, and keep track of what made you spend more money than you planned. Take time to reconsider it: were those really emergencies or just an impulse buy?
Anything you don’t spend during one month, add to the unexpected expenses budget for the next one.
You don’t need to be a wealthy business owner to know what a good investment is.
For example, if your job involves typing on a computer all day long, investing in a high-quality laptop, or a comfortable chair will certainly pay off. One will bring you more money, and the other will save your health.
If you’ve just graduated, you might want to take some additional courses online to upgrade your knowledge and add more items to your resume.
Put these investments in writing. See if they’re one-time investments or you need to continue investing for a while. Calculate how much money you need for them, and after how long they will pay off.
People tend to spend much more than necessary when on vacation. This is why it might be useful to plan your expenses in advance.
Write down how much money you’ll have in cash, and how much you have left in your bank account. If you’re wondering how to avoid overdraft fees in case of an unpredicted event, take more cash than you really need, but be disciplined about not spending it unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Do a research about the place you’re visiting. After you’ve found appropriate accommodations, try to find out the prices at local restaurants, bus fees, fun activities, possible discounts and ways to save, etc. This will help you plan your vacation budget in advance – spending without a plan is a fatal habit.
Create a table for each month and set a goal for yourself. Go three days a month without spending a cent.
This can mean you’ll cook whatever you find in the pantry, walk to the office, or dye your own hair. Quite challenging, but it’s worth a shot, and it can be even more fun if you do it with friends. If you think it’s impossible not to spend a dime in 24 hours, at least try to keep the expenses at the minimum.
Get Organized and Prosper
A financial planner helps you stay organized and on top of your finances. It also gives you a great insight into your spending habits, which can point you to life aspects where you could use some expense cutting.
Many times, we aren’t even aware of how much we spend, so keeping a financial diary with the mentioned categories might give you exactly the financial boost you’ve needed in order to thrive.
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