• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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BusinessDay

Budgeting: Aligning with economic realities

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The dwindling oil price at the global market, which has affected government budget, implies the household or individuals’ budget involving income and expenditure will also be affected.

So, while government at all levels adopts strategic means to cope with declining revenue, households should consider reducing spending to remain at balance with economic realities.

Experts say you can also come up with your own measures that will enable you reduce your spending in the face of economic crunch.

Miriam Caldwell, personal finance specialist, said in her newsletter that you need to avoid budget busters, and get serious about your spending habits. Making financial trade-offs now will help you save money and enable you reach your goals.

She came up with some ideas that can help you reduce your spending across the board. One of such ideas is to stop eating out. She explained that this is a huge expense. You can save a lot of money by cooking at home. The cheapest fast food meals that you can buy are not good to eat health wise, and saving money by eating that food may lead to increased medical costs in the future.

Eating out at a restaurant can be a relaxing and enjoyable experience, but it should be considered more of a treat rather than an everyday occurrence. Generally, you can make a good healthy meal for less money. If time is an issue try bulk cooking on the weekends and heating up the meals during the week.

You can create a monthly meal plan to help you get control of your food budget.

Another measure you can apply to reduce your spending is cutting on dual services. According to her, one easy example of dual services is having a landline and a cell phone. Often, you do not need both of these services.

Another area that you may consider cutting back is a gym membership when you have access to a gym at work or in your apartment complex. You may also consider cutting back on the speed of your Internet or your cable package if you are looking for ways to save money.

There are more ways you can save money by eliminating things that may provide the same benefit. Look carefully at all the services you use to see where you can save money. You may also want to reduce the cost of utilities.

Furthermore, you need to switch to cash for problem categories. However, this works better in developed countries that run cashless economy.

“One easy way to reduce your problem spending is to only use cash for the purchases that fall into that category. Leave your credit cards, and debit card at home when you are shopping for that category and you will find that it is a lot easier to stop spending when you do not have access to more cash. This works well for clothes shopping and grocery shopping. It works well for any category where you find it difficult to stay on budget,” she said.

HOPE MOSES-ASHIKE