Considering Your Personal Finances: Living On A Budget
One of the major consequences of adulthood is financial responsibility. When you were younger, your allowance was provided by your parents. Utility bills, house mortgage or monthly rentals, and other expenses are taken care of by your parents, and your expenses were limited to personal hygiene items and your hobbies.
However, once you become an adult, you have to find a job, pay rent, pay water and electricity bills, as well as buy all your own food!
Here are some ways you can cope with monthly expenses and live within your budget:
Set a Monthly Budget and Stay Within It
Make a list of all your essential expenses. This will include monthly rentals, utility bills, budget for food, and other personal items. From your monthly income, set aside some money for the essentials and determine whether you have extra. Don’t spend the excess money haphazardly just because it is outside the essential expenses.
Remember, you have to make some allowances for emergencies, so don’t overspend. Limit your time visiting the mall or shops so you will not be tempted to buy random items that are outside your budget.
Cook Your Own Food
If there is one item of expense that you can control, it’s your food. It’s very difficult to have complete control over your utility bills or your monthly rental expenses, but with just a little preparation and organization it’s easy to control the amount you spend on your grocery bills.
Eating out is easy but it can also be very expensive, and regularly eating out or having take-away food will wreak havoc to your health. You can save money by cooking your meals. Stick to easy recipes where you won’t need complicated or expensive ingredients.
There are tons of recipes that only need regular spices such as salt, pepper, vinegar, soy sauce, and the occasional splash of Kraft milk or cheese. Stick to fresh ingredients that you can buy at the local market.
You could even grow your own food: plant some herbs in a small pot and place it somewhere light and airy in your apartment, such as beside the kitchen window or near the door.
You won’t believe the amount you save by cooking your own meals instead of ordering at the local deli.
Augment Your Income
• Sell items that are just cluttering your house. If you have unused items of clothing, electronics, or even pieces of furniture that you are no longer using, consider offering them for sale at eBay or Craigslist.
• Rent out the extra room you are using as storage room for all the boxes containing junk items. Convert an old storage room into an office space that you can rent out as well.
• Get an extra job. There are a lot of freelancing jobs available online that you can do at home. Check the local bulletin boards for any ads.
• Offer to walk dogs or babysit children or even housesit around the neighborhood. Cash in on your hobbies. If you like painting, accept commissions for portraits. You can also offer painting lessons for kids in the local community center.
• If you are a fast typist, offer your services as transcriptionist.
There are a ton of ways you can augment your monthly income and increase your budget.