By Zulika van Heerden
When you go to the bank at the end of the month and find you have spent more than you made you’re in trouble. Now, under financial stress, with no back-up and bills pouring in, you have to make huge attempts to cope with the situation. Fear and the sense that you are being overwhelmed by lack of money creates a myriad of other pressures in your life.
At first glance running a home budget looks easy. However there are innumerable expenses that have to be allocated before you can feel confident that you have created an accurate all-encompassing control. The larger the household the more involved the budget becomes. When planning a budget, expenses that occur occasionally or annually are sometimes forgotten and not included in the budget. Breakdowns, motor vehicle repairs and services can easily be overlooked. It is these items that turn up, usually at the most inappropriate time and as ‘I-never-thought-of-that’ they become a money flap.
Keeping a tight control on your funds is the surest way of accomplishing financial freedom. At every turn you are enticed to spend more; obtain more credit; buy now pay later. So what’s the solution. Self-control obviously, that always helps, and using an online budgeting program so that you can no longer fool yourself about how you spent the money because you thought you had it. Unfortunately if you don’t discipline yourself, life has a horrible way of doing it for you.
Putting an organized system into place ensures that you have control over your money and that you are actively administering your cash flow. It is not the amount of money you earn, it is the how and what you do with it that creates a surplus or negative at the end of the week. This is where your own intelligence comes into play.
Earning what you do right now, if it is well organized, allows you to see in an instant whether or not you can afford to spend money on an unbudgeted item. The guess work, the ‘I’m sure it’ll be OK’, all of that is eliminated. You end up dealing with known facts and exact amounts. Money is hard to deal with because there are too many decisions being made with too many unknowns. When asked for a snap decision for a purchase, are you able to go to your budget right now and after consulting with it know without an ounce of doubt if you have the finance available?
If you were able to do that, half the struggle with money would be won – you’d know – yes or no. With a sound budget in place, keeping your affairs in order becomes less stressful. Knowing what is going on with your finances from week to week keeps you in control. By involving your family in the whole process you can help them understand the true value of managing money and thereby predicting.
By using an online budgeting program you will quickly see where you are. Budget forecasting keeps you off the rocks and heads you into smoother waters. You can calculate what each financial decision will bring with it.
Waiting until month end, when the accounts start piling up, then trying to cope just creates panic. There is no room or time to manoeuvre. However by having a fully-inclusive budget in place, and being able to access it from anywhere, you can see at a glance if you have money available. It then becomes easy to say ‘No thank you. Not this month’. No matter the level of credit available to you. (Most people are allowed credit way above their ability to pay it. Just because the credit card companies say you can have the credit doesn’t mean you can afford it.) With your budget in place you are confident that month-end bills will be paid and you, not your debt is running the show.
A budgeting system is your key to gaining the financial freedom you’ve always wanted. The program puts the power in your hands so that you can start budgeting and planning right now. However, you have to use it and you have to be strict with yourself. A budgeting system is of no use to you if you ignore what it is telling you.
With a sound budget system in place, you will soon be on your way to a calm orderly conquering of debt.
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