It is natural for all of us to spend a little extra during festivities, celebrations and summers. After all, who would not want to wear a brand new outfit on Eid or go to an exquisite destination for summer vacation? However, when the days of super happy celebrations pass, these budget splurges come back to haunt us. At such times, what can you do?
Having a budget is all well and good, but the real challenge is – Sticking to the budget. You can make rules, follow them and stay stress-free for most of the months in a year. But, let’s be honest, it is not possible at all times.
Here are some tips to help you recover from a busted budget.
Deal with Your Debts First
If you have personal finance, home finance, or any other type of debt, prioritize your installments and then plan the rest. Sticking to your repayment schedule is important, as you don’t want to pay late payment charges and penalty interest or ruin your credit score.
Save First, Spend Later
It can seem possible to accumulate savings when you feel your expenses are overwhelming your finances. This is why it is a smart move to save a portion of your salary first and then use the rest to take care of your expenses. This forced saving will make you more financially disciplined and also improve your budgeting skills. Also consider, automating your savings by setting up an auto-transfer from your current account to a savings account at a fixed date every month, preferable as soon as your salary comes in.
No matter how small or how big your expenses are, track them. Write everything down, use an application and share it with your spouse or family members, so that everyone can write down the expenses in one place. Using this method, you will be able to track down your expenses and eliminate all the non-essential ones.
Don’t Overspend on Credit Cards
Although a credit card is a great financial tool, it should be used judiciously. For example, if you are earning AED 10,000 per month, then your credit card spend should never be more than that in a month. Spending beyond your means is never a good idea. Always keep in mind that borrowing on your credit card doesn’t come cheap, thanks to the high interest rates on UAE credit cards.
Don’t Dig Into Your Savings
Falling short of cash? Don’t dig into your savings immediately. See if you can manage with small budget cuts here and there. Retain your savings to invest for your future or as a financial backup for unforeseen events. Tap into your savings only if it’s the last resort.
Save with Your Goals in Sight
Saving as a family can be fun, especially if you set out to achieve a common goal. For instance, if you and your spouse agree on buying a new car, you both can try to accumulate the down payment from your monthly salary. Don’t go in blind because if you do that, you’ll only mess with your budget further.
Build an Emergency Exit
Not literally though, but you can keep apart some cash in an emergency fund. Just as we spend extra sometimes, we can also save some money from the budget when the expenses are lower than usual. During such months, save this extra money and keep it in an emergency fund.