We’ve all heard it before, “It is never too early to start saving…” This is not only true, it can also be a lifesaver. Budgeting and saving can be particularly difficult for new homeowners. All these new expenses can come at you like a ton of bricks. With these simple tips, budgeting and saving could be a breeze.
Jot down all sources of income and expenses
If there is one thing worth knowing, it is that it’s just about impossible to manage what you cannot measure. With this in mind, make a list of all your sources of income as well as expenses. The expenses do not have to be down to the last cent, however, you will more or less know which things you will need to pay for every month, for example, vehicle instalments, water and lights, date night expenses, etc. It is important that you note all of these expenses in order to not to be caught off guard.
Plan for unexpected expenses
Expenses are not all set in stone, and some unexpected expenses can be hard on the pocket. It’s always good to have a safety net, or in this case, a safety piggy bank, for times like this. Things like a broken window or leaking taps can lead to even bigger problems when not resolved timeously.
As far as possible, stay away from debt
There are times when taking out a loan for something is the most viable option, for example, buying a car on credit then repaying it monthly. In instances where you can, pay for everything cash. This will make it easier to save. Debt can be so “convenient” that you end up using half your income in debt repayments. You don’t have to have all the furniture in your new home as soon as you move in, plan ahead and do things as and when you can.
Plan to reach certain savings milestones
Saving as little as R300 a month is a good start to ensuring a secure financial future as a homeowner. After listing all your sources of income and all your expenses, determine the amount of money that you can afford to save every month and start with that, no matter how little. Review your expenses after each month and determine where you can adjust in order to save a little more as this will enable you to set a higher savings goal.