If you are spending more than you currently earn, it means you are living way above your means.
Most salary earners find it difficult saving money out of their salaries every month because, they have
numerous needs competing for their meagre salaries.
Out of your salary, you have to pay your house rent, Kids school fees, repay your debts, further your
education, feed your self and family, shop for groceries, invest for the future, save for emergency etc.
Therefore, there is need to budget and prioritize.
Believe it or not, saving out of a small salary requires you to have a budget and the discipline to follow that budget. it’s very easy to over spend and exceed your budget in the first few months when you start following a budget plan. But as time goes on, you will become more comfortable with it and be able to achieve your goals of saving a part of your small salary every month.
If you find yourself struggling monthly to save out of your salary, you can either look for other ways to earn more through side gigs or change job. But it’s not easy finding a new job and it will require alot of planning. So that the very reason most people stick to budgeting and prioritizing for them to achieve a balance and even save money from their current monthly salaries.
So How can you budget and save money when your salary is small?
That is the essence of this article and I’m going to show you some smart budgeting tips that if followed correctly, will enable you to save from your salary/income monthly no matter how small it is.
How To Budget and save money when your salary is small.
1. Understand your current financial situation.
Before you start budgeting at all, you need to understand your current financial situation. The best way to understand your current financial
situation by tracking your income and expenses. When you track you expenses for like a month or two, you will discover what you are spending money on
most, is it airtime, fuel, eating out, clothing, home appliances etc. Then you can be able to decide which ones are basic needs and which one are just
wants. So start collecting receipts for all your purchases and record and your incomes too.
2. Understand the Goal of budgeting.
The goal of budgeting is for you to strike a balance but not to live a horrible life.
So cut yourself some slack and allow for some fun things you used to do. After tracking your expenses and you understand why you
are budgeting, then separate your expenses into 2 categories; Wants and Needs. Separating your expenses into this 2 categories
will help you make a good and realistic budget. You then will be able to give more priority to expenses that are needs and only consider
wants after you have taken care of your needs.
3. Try using the 50/20/30 Plan
This budgeting plan was Popularized by Senator Elizabeth Warren in her book. The Plan is very simple, allocate 50% of your
salary to your needs/necessities, 20% to long term savings and 30% to wants/lifestyle choices. Expenses such as kids school fees, feeding, rent payment etc
can be considered as needs and you take care of those out of the 50% you will set aside out of your monthly salary. Then 30% you allocate for wants can take
care of your life style expenses like going out to relax with friends, going on vacation with the family, buying clothes and accessories etc. 20% for long term saving
can be saving for purchase of a land, car, further your education, saving for wedding etc.
4. Save first and spend what remains.
This looks very simple but it’s easy to forget once the salary comes in and you are faced with alot of needs. If you want to follow the 50/20/30 budget plan,
make sure you remove the 20% first and save before you will then look at your list on needs and wants and prioritize. Select the ones you can be able to
accommodate in the current month and push others over to next month.
5. Create a Spread Sheet
Excel is a Microsoft office package that is alot everybody knows. You can use it as you budgeting tool. Use it to make a list of your expenses for the month and separate them into needs and wants and items you consider as long term savings. for your income, only include your salary after tax because that is your take home. Incomes such as end of the year bonus should only be added to your income if you know the exact figure or you are certain that you will get it.
6. Cut Back Your Spending.
A very good way to do this is by researching before you buy. By doing you this, you will be able to get the best deal on anything you are buying. Getting 5% discounts here and there will add up and you can be able to save the excess money.