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Budgeting Course: Lesson 2 – Fall in love with your budget

<– Go back to Lesson 1 with Nicolette

Can you really love your budget?

Tebogo is a follower on this blog and has previously featured in a great series of 4 posts. He has truly transformed his finances and it’s so inspiring to listen to him! He is passionate about managing his money and making it work as best as possible! If you have time you can listen to our previous discussions here:

However, back to budgeting…

Tebogo has fallen in love with his budget!

Here are some of the key points to take from the chat.

01:00 – You cannot improve what you cannot measure

A budget is a tool to help you see what you’re doing with your money and helps you stay in control of it.

01:59 – Where did you first learn to budget?

There are so many resources available! Many blogs and websites and lots of upcoming South African personal finance blogs and books.

Tebogo (like many of us) learnt about budgeting many years ago but didn’t actually implement it in his own life. It’s funny how sometimes we know what we should be doing but we somehow don’t do it.

04:02 – How do you budget?

Tebogo tried various apps but found that they didn’t work for him. He now uses an Excel spreadsheet which he has customised to be exactly what he wants. That is a great tip; what works for one person may not make any sense to you! If you really want to manage your money then you need to do it in a way that works for you.

Tebogo spends about an hour each month to do his personal “month end”. This is when he looks at what money is coming in and what all the expenses are. We all have our standard expenses but we often forget to plan for things like birthdays, anniversaries, special holidays, car services, etc. So spending a bit of time thinking about these upcoming expenses really helps!

“The more you do it, the easier it gets”

08:20 – Challenges when starting to budget

The biggest challenges are mental obstacles. Thinking that “budgeting isn’t for me” or thinking that it’s too difficult and complicated. It’s so easy to make excuses when in fact we really just need to spend a little time and effort and start!

It can also be scary facing the reality of your finances though as a budget really shows you what you can afford and what you can’t afford. It can make you feel sad and even depressed but the great thing is that once you know what the situation is, you can work to improve it.

10:10 – Know your expenses

“If you want to be rich, focus on your expenses!” – it seems so simple but it’s true.

Don’t be afraid to track your expenses and understand where each and every rand is being spent. This will help you so much with your budget when you are deciding how much money you can spend on various items. It also helps you to put things in perspective; you can see the real amount you spend on everthing.

11:35 – Money and relationships

If you’re married or in a relationship then it’s up to you to figure out how to manage your money in the relationship. It’s different for all couples.

In Tebogo’s case he and his wife both compile their own budgets and then have a “money hour” on the last day of the month where they share their budgets and discuss upcoming expenses, plans and everything money-related.

It gives them peace of mind and helps them to work together as a team. And a wonderful side-effect is that it’s strengthened their marriage!

So often money issues are the cause of fights and issues and yet having open discussions about your money and finding a way to manage your money separately and together can really strengthen the relationship.

14:08 – How to start

Be brave – the budget will show you the truth!

It all boils down to setting aside time to manage your money and time to educate yourself! Read, discuss and learn as much as you can and spend focussed time making plans, analysing your expenses and deciding how to spend your money wisely.

You may need to make sacrifices, especially in the beginning but as Tebogo says, you must fall in love with your budget!

Love your budget yet?

You still on board? I love how enthusiastic Tebogo is about his budget!

One more video to go and then we’ll start working on creating our own budget / spending plan.

If you’re ready, let’s move on to Budgeting Course: Lesson 3 with Di.

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