I have come across many arguments for and against budgeting. Some feel budgeting can limit your mindset to only aiming for what you know you can afford. Others believe that you should always live within your means whether you have little or much.
The downside to budgeting is you can easily grow obsessed with your finances and allow it to consume you. As much as we require money to function in this world, it should not make us anxious or steal our joy.
I am of the opinion that you should strike a balance between living within your means whilst accomodating the finer things in life, where possible. I am a great believer in budgeting but am also aware that doing so day in, day out can become a drudgery. We all need treats (well I do), after a long, hard day whether that be in paid employment, running a business or being a stay at home parent.
Ways in which you can “cut your cloth” without feeling deprived;
1. You may be a lover of coffee but your budget does not allow you to buy an expresso on your way to work daily. Buy one expresso a week, perhaps on a day when you will be working late or have a busy schedule.
2. Always, always allocate “spending money” for yourself every month regardless of how little the amount may be. You may have no need to use it all but it is there should you need it. Your spending money should cover your personal spends from a meal out with friends to purchasing a new jacket.
3. Plan months in advance for big purchases such as a weekend break or concert tickets. Save monthly until you arrive at the amount you need.
4. Avoid making impulse buys and be wary of clothes sales. More often than not we buy items only because they are reduced. If they were advertised at the full price we probably would not give them a second glance.
Do you live within your means or do you buy as you desire and face the consequences later?
How do you strike a balance to ensure quality of life?