What Budgeting Means In 2016


By Christine McClean

This year has been cataclysmic. America is experiencing one of its most eventful elections in history. Britain has made the shocking decision to leave the European Union (EU). Terrorist attacks seem to be becoming commonplace. Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm and changed the face of the gaming landscape. The list is endless. Quite a few of the changes that have occurred, or will soon occur, have profound impact on the way we live and do business.

For example, after the Brexit announcement, the British pound decreased significantly in value. Another prime example is the potential outcome of the US election. The outcome of this election may mean that Americans have to spend more than they’re accustomed to for certain items and luxuries.

Budgeting in 2016 is, therefore, a topic that has to be approached with caution. The uncertain economic climate that surrounds us means that we need to save more and minimize our expenses. We also need to ensure that we make secure plans for the future through the use of life insurance and retirement schemes. Here are my four key budgeting principles that could help you implement a safeguard for your finances:

1. Always Pay Yourself First

This is a principle that I have stuck to for most of my life. Whenever I get paid, the first thing I do is transfer a percentage of my salary to a foreign currency account. You can determine the percentage that you can manage. However, the important thing to remember is that you must save before you begin to worry about your expenses. It is crucial for you to also gain the discipline to leave that money untouched when it is transferred. It makes no sense to save only to take the money back out a few weeks later.

2. Make Wise Investment Decisions

Many banks offer investment advisors who provide free financial planning consultations. Make an appointment to speak to a representative. Discuss your options for investing in stocks, bonds, and real estate. Let the advisor tell you the best amount of money to begin your investment with. Usually, the more you invest is the greater the returns. Make it your goal to save towards that starting balance. When you’ve reached that goal, place the money in the investment scheme.

3. Minimize Your Expenses

Expenses are budget killers. There are the unavoidable expenses of utility bills, debt payments, and groceries. However, can you look for ways to spend less without compromising your ability to enjoy life? Enjoying life and gaining experiences is important, but you have to be wise about it. Before spending $499 on a designer handbag, think about it. Could you buy a much cheaper handbag that serves the same purpose and save yourself some money? You could also consider allowing yourself to splurge a little once every two to three months. Again, you have to be wise about what you’re doing. Set a limit and ensure that your splurging doesn’t exceed that limit.

4. Use Budgeting Apps

Many of us have neither the time nor the discipline to map out a budget on our own. Thankfully, the technological world has come to our rescue. There are quite a few budgeting apps that can be linked to your bank account to help you keep track of your spending and budget targets. One of the most highly recommended apps is Mint. It provides a seamless user experience and safely links your bank account.

One thing is for sure. This year is the year to take control of your finances.

Christine is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty On Tap. The views and opinions expressed in Contributing Writer articles reflect those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the site.

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