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







Interest income



Other income









Home loan / Rent



Property rates / townhouse levies



Credit card payments



Vehicle financing / Transport costs



Hire purchase agreements






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)






Petrol / Vehicle maintenance



Medical expenses















Sub total



Total expenditure






Total expenses





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