Most people would agree that spring is the best time of year. Temperatures are moderate, it rains, and the greenery starts growing back everywhere – nature’s own ‘restart button’. It’s my favourite time of the year and I know many people who feel the same way. Psychologically, it would be a lot easier for you to get started on spring cleaning your finances – if you feel good, are more energetic and inspired, it could be a lot easier for you to kick out some of the bad habits you’ve had and to start anew with some good ones.
One of the best and most important things to do is to get your budget right. As advisors, we stress the importance of budgeting to clients all the time, but this is the one task that people dread the most and take least seriously. It must be taken more seriously, be attended to more frequently and done more accurately. This spring, if you do nothing else but your budget, you’d be well on your way to success with your finances.
While budgeting, keep the following in mind:
- Be honest with yourself
- Try be as accurate as humanly possible. Track every cent
- Print out a few consecutive bank statements. Go through each one and pick up trends in your spending.
- Keep receipts of all your cash purchases and summarize your spending on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
It is a tedious yet necessary process if you are to account for where your money goes and a good way to instil some good financial habits. Your budget is your mirror – a glimpse into who you are and what you value the most. If you prioritise yourself in the right way, it will be reflected in your spending pattern.