Budgeting made easy

Say goodbye to sleepless nights with these helpful tips that'll keep your bank-balance in the green

Say goodbye to sleepless nights spent worrying about managing your money by putting together a sensible budget that you can follow easily every month.  Budgeting makes it easy to monitor and control your personal spending while also helping you to plan for your financial future.

Although budgeting may seem like a dull and time consuming exercise, the benefits you receive will make it all worthwhile.

Where do I start?

You can use an ordinary A4 book to draw up your budget.  You could either copy the template on the page opposite or just use it as a guideline, tailoring it to suit your personal needs.

Use a fresh page every month, with the right hand side for the budget and the left for notes and explanations.  For example, in May you may note that you lent R500 to Mary.  At the same time, you can make a note in your budget for June to remind yourself that Mary owes you R500, which she promised to repay on 15 June.

Begin by writing down your monthly income from your salary slip after all the deductions your employer has made.  Also include any additional income, such as from interest earned on investments or rental income from a second property.  Add these up.

Then write down your fixed monthly expenses and prioritise your debts.  These are essential items, commitments that you have made and that must be honoured if you are to maintain a good credit record. For example, these may include rent, home loan repayments, hire purchase agreements or others. Add these up.

The difference between your fixed monthly expenses and your income is your discretionary spending. You can spend this on optional items such as holidays, entertainment or jewellery.

When should I draw up a budget?

It is a good idea to draw up a budget just after you get paid.  Then you should pay your fixed monthly expenses first before you start spending on luxury items.

While it may seem difficult to start using a budget, it will become a habit after just a few months.  You may even be surprised about how much you learn from budgeting, such as how to stretch your money or to save for a special treat.

 Monthly budget

Income

Budgeted

Actual

Salary

 

 

Interest income

 

 

Other income

 

 

 

 

 

Expenses

 

 

Home loan / Rent

 

 

Property rates / townhouse levies

 

 

Credit card payments

 

 

Vehicle financing / Transport costs

 

 

Hire purchase agreements

 

 

Insurance

 

 

Life assurance

 

 

Retirement annuities

 

 

Savings, for example, unit trusts, society schemes, fixed deposits

 

 

School / Other educational costs

 

 

Domestic worker’s wages

 

 

Retail card accounts

 

 

Savings for emergencies / Stokvel

 

 

Sub total

 

 

 

 

 

Variable monthly expenses

 

 

Water and electricity

 

 

Telephone (cellphone included)

 

 

Food

 

 

Petrol / Vehicle maintenance

 

 

Medical expenses

 

 

Household

 

 

Clothing

 

 

Entertainment

 

 

 

 

 

Sub total

 

 

Total expenditure

 

 

 

 

 

Total expenses

 

 

 

 

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