The process of self-betterment comes with a large amount of responsibility. There remains a need to work on the areas in which we falter as human beings. Many of us do not particularly like or enjoy the topic of finances, simply because it comes with a lot of responsibility and accountability. Accounting for decisions made either to our self-betterment or detriment. This is especially true when it comes to being financially responsible for our future goals that require financial discipline now.
When I started this series on financial literacy I opted to make it as easy to comprehend as possible, because financial jargon can water down the aim and objective, which is to shed enough light for the average Tom, Dick, and Harry who is simply trying to master self in finances. This is without the complexity of how to get a bond, or how much you qualify for to purchase a car. Simple told, how can I better manage my finances without being broke come end of each month? I developed a strategy called:
Weeks Savings Rule
In the previous articles, we discussed budgeting and savings. This stems from the two. Each month when you draft your budget, you will further break the budget down to expenditure per week. Simply said, each expense will be broken down to four weeks as applicable per month.
Example – Food Budget
When I budget for food for each month, I know that there is usually the big shopping trip that happens in the first week of the month. This trip accounts for the essential groceries, like oil, butter, veggies, meat, etc.
In the duration of the month, each week I will then have to purchase the perishables such as milk, yoghurt, and fruits.
I will then break down my overall food budget amount to account for what I will spend each week, over four weeks.
Example of how to break down a budget item;
As soon as you have done the breakdown of each budget item, you then total the weeks below. You will then transfer the amounts of Week two, three and four into your savings pocket. In your current account, you would have paid your fixed expenses, your savings for both your Unit Trust and 30 Day Savings account, and your weekly savings, and would have only the spending money of week one available.
You will then spend Week one’s money in Week one. On the Monday of Week two, you will then transfer from your savings pocket the total of Week two and so it goes. Generally, the amount of Week one is higher than the rest of the weeks. However, try to spread out your spending, like if you are a woman, do you nails in Week two, as opposed to one. Go to the spa in Week four when the spa is empty and the energy levels need checking. If you are a chap, have a night out with friends in Week three, do date night with your lady in Week four. The idea is to spread out your expenses across the month to learn to better manage your finances.
This financial trick is for people who basically need training wheels. For others, it is not necessary as their financial discipline allows them to have money for the entire month without needing to check themselves.
The truth is, learn as much as you can from different sources and take what works for you. In as long as you are practicing financial discipline. That is all that matters. Start, because the trick is to start somewhere.
I have drafted an example of a budget from start to finish, find it on my personal blog – mavisbraga.com
Here’s to becoming financially savvy. I hope this series has been helpful. Find all 4 articles of the series on my blog – mavisbraga.com
*Mavis Braga Elias is a Civil Engineer by qualification and a Marketing Officer by profession. A philanthropist at heart and founder of the EM Love Foundation. She won the Vivid Philanthropist award in 2015 and the Queens Young Leaders Awards 2018. Find her on Twitter- @mavisbraga