Don’t run short before the month is out!

By admin
13 June 2013

I am a single mother. I work three jobs. I am exhausted 90 per cent of the time.

Yet, I smile and soldier on. Sometimes the need to spoil myself becomes so overwhelming I just give in to it.

Like last month when on a cold and wet day my favourite retail store got in new winter boots. They were standing there, all shiny and smelling of leather – and they had my size!

That’s when I went into my “I  deserve!” mode. I wanted it. I had to have it. It would brighten my day. Surely I deserved to spoil myself. I see to everything  ? from my children, to my house, to my extended  family and even the cat next door! I took out my debit card and swiped. In my head I was shifting things around and making space in my budget for this purchase.

And all was good in the world.

But won’t you know it, 10 days before my next pay day I’d run short of money. I got that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach and knew that it was my “I deserve” purchase that had caused this. I was slightly perturbed because I had really thought my budget could accommodate it.

But that comes from doing a budget in your head! If there’s one piece of simple financial advice I can give to everyone it would be: draw up a budget on paper.

When you draw up a budget on paper, you’re forced to see exactly what your income and expenditure is. You then have to look at the reality of the situation. Do yourself a favour and carry around this important piece of paper in your purse.

When something unexpected comes along – refer to your budget and see what’s a luxury and what’s a necessity. There may very well be space for a luxury item one month – but rather make sure your  “I deserve” or your “I want” purchase isn’t going to make you run short during the month.

Because once this happens it opens up the floodgates for huge surges of guilt – and that might need Prozac to alleviate!

There’s nothing more empowering than knowing exactly what the state of your finances are. So make the effort  to know who your creditors  are. Know what your outstanding balances are. Know what your terms and interest rates are. Because only when we’re fully informed and empowered can we make the correct financial decisions in our lives.

And all of the above doesn’t mean I don’t think I deserve a cruise, new shoes, a genuine leather handbag, a full body massage or a facial!

-Moeshfieka Botha

*-Moeshfieka is the special projects manager of Fin24

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