https://kwachalelo.com/how-to-avoid-new-year-money-woes/

Why Your Money Management is failing

The month just keeps giving bills and your strategy to try and manage the money is not working. Why?

Here are some reasons

Your Budget Has Not Been Updated

Most times income and expenses change from year to year. So, the budget you made in the previous year might be irrelevant this year.

Prices and the cost of living changes all the time. So to avoid any money problems, update your budget. And do this on a regular basis and every time there is an increase or decrease in your income.

Your Habits Have Not Changed

Remember budgeting will only work if you are willing to change your spending pattern, each time it is needed. So, if you see that your expenditure pattern reveals that you’re spending too much on things like entertainment, impulse shopping and last minute outings, you need to make changes or else you’ll be overspending each month.

An example is if you’ve already spent your recreation or shopping budget for the month, don’t take money from your grocery or transportation fund just because you have a habit of shopping when there’s a sale at the mall.

You Take on Too Many Projects

You may be surprised that having too many projects on your plate may also be a contributor to your losing money. If you are a member of several banking groups, have a number of things bought on credit or lay by as well as juggling multiple gigs, it’s easy to lose track of how you’re spending your cash.

Simplifying and streamlining all your projects. So that you are able to track spending and stay on top of payments which can lead to costly losses, especially if you are slapped with late fees.

Avoid trying to do everything like everybody. With friends and peers especially, it is tempting to be on the same financial footing. However, the reality is, your friends and peers might not share your financial mind-set or be as budget-conscious as you, and be in everything at the same time. Spreading themselves thin. A condition which you will find can stall progress.

Your cash only goes so far, and saving for multiple goals simultaneously or taking on too many responsibilities might be unrealistic and an unnecessary strain on your finances. And you will find that you are being tempted to dip or take cash from other categories.

You Ignore Tips

You do not have to be perfect at managing money, most people are not but you’ll need to stop ignoring tips. Most cover the most common mistakes that can throw your spending plan off balance, so do try and use some of them.

Some common and useful tips to follow are

Know how much you are likely to spend. Before you can create a budget, you have to know where your money goes and your true cost-of-living expenses. Estimating or guessing your expenses is never going to work because you’re likely spending more than you think each month.

So a good tip is to track you’re spending for a month or two before you try to come up with a budget.

Do not forget irregular expenses like car repairs, insurance, taxes and home repairs are never top of the list but do keep abreast of any changes build them into the budget. They maybe irregular but, you can keep abreast by putting them on your budget or list.

Keep an eye on your e-spending be it debit card account or a mobile money account. These are very convenient but they are also very easy to deplete. Have the discipline to withdraw cash then spend only that cash. Do not take the card out or start sending mobile money when you run out. This is how it becomes very easy to overspend with mobile money or a card in hand.

Record your transactions or keep receipts  so you can follow and be aware of where you are spending your money, and when necessary assist in locating any mistakes that you or the bank make. And to keep abreast of how the additional fees charged for using your card or mobile money change over time.

Sometimes banks and mobile money operators change fees and you miss their notice to change. Which means you may be surprised at the end of the day by how little is left in your account.

For a debit cards, be aware that transactions may not always be automatically reflected in your account balance, for some, it may take two to three days.

Keep an eye on your accounts and never spend more money than you have in your account.

Remember to never share your PIN number.

Kwachalelo

A Zambian site sharing quick read articles around work, money and adulting life with selective interviews and quotes.
The founder, editor and lead writer who left university with a good grasp of public administration, economics, money, banking and international relations is also qualified in journalism and creative writing. She has been published in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and has been featured in several local and international publications.
An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo