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Budgeting Brahmastras: Financial Planning For beginners

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As the new fiscal year approaches, the budget and its implications are popular subjects. The budget and its effects are hot topics as the new fiscal year draws near, and every conversation we have with similarly pretentious people is pseudo-intellectual, affective, and virtue signalling.

Will our financial choices be the same this year, though?  Are we going to keep living paycheck to paycheck and fail to save? Will we order takeout on the day we get paid and live off of Maggie and Chai on the weekends?

If not, how are we going to alter that?

Its simple. You need to learn as much as you can about investing and financial planning to get started.

Even if they do not live in the same circumstances as a typical college student, it is probably time for everyone to learn better money management techniques. With all of the talk of recession and inflation, one can expect increased unemployment, widespread layoffs, lower spending, and a greater emphasis on saving.

Overspending- the boss fights

Overspending occurs when someone spends more than they have or have budgeted for. No matter how much you save or how good your financial planning is, overspending will throw it all out the window.

We now live in a digitally connected world where everything is accessible with just a click. Shopping and spending have never been simpler thanks to features like Instagram ads, same-day delivery, instant delivery, and one-click purchases.

Who knew, “____pay par hazar rupay prapt hue!” could be the sound of disaster for some of us.

Easy credit applications are being used by an increasing number of people, which makes them more dependent on the quick hit of dopamine that social media and shopping provide.

Budgeting and good financial planning can be your bramhastras the battle with the devils of overspending.

Golden Rules of budgeting

Tracking Expense

The majority of us will never be able to save up enough money to fulfill our fantasies of Ucchiyan gaddiyan, Rolies, and mansions. The first step in the arduous ascent is keeping track of your spending. 

But how do I start?

  • Categorising Expenses: You can categorise the basis in broad categories such as Fixed expenses, variable expenses, debt payments, savings, investments, discretionary expenses, health, taxes, etc.
  • Tracking apps: The use of expense tracking apps has revolutionised the process of budgeting and tracking. They break down your expenses into categories and give you monthly reports. They also alert you if you are overspending in some category and give tips to manage them better.
  • Multiple Bank Accounts: Using multiple banking accounts to manage spending is a strategic approach to financial organisation. Designate accounts for fixed expenses, variable spending, savings, debt repayment, and investments. This system streamlines budget tracking, ensuring funds are allocated appropriately, enhancing financial discipline, and facilitating progress towards specific financial goals.

Manage debt:

EMIs are the piranhas that eat up the salary even before you can think of planning. Utilizing credit and debt cards wisely is a very sound financial decision, but the trend of buying every gadget that Instagram tells you you can’t live without on EMIs can be lethal to every rule of budgeting that you might follow.

Also, let me tell you- there is no such thing as a no cost EMI.

It always comes with a price, one that many people may not have anticipated: dependency and financial burden. The repercussions of not being able to keep up with your debt are also very costly. One late payment, and your credit score falls like Newton’s apple (or Kota students results).

Surplus cash:

Surplus cash can either be the key to your financial independence or get you that Apple Watch you have been eyeing for the last month.

By making prudent use of this money, you can outpace inflation. A prudent investment portfolio can accomplish medium- and long-term objectives in addition to beating inflation.

Popular methods of Financial planning and budgeting

Setting specific goals is a good idea when creating a budget. Depending on your goals and spending pattern, one can pick a budgeting method. The goals can be

  • Debt management
  • Increasing savings and investment

50/30/20 rule

The 50/30/20 rule is a widely adopted budgeting technique, as recommended by financial experts and Finfluencers. You are asked to allocate your post-tax income into three distinct categories:

  1. Needs: These are all of your requirements and needs; these are essentially the things you cannot live without and are not negotiable. It should be entirely covered by 50% of your after-tax income.
  2. Wants: Everything you would like to obtain, even if you may not need it, is included in this component. You should spend no more than thirty percent of your income on these.
  3. Savings- The most important component of your income will be savings. Be it loan repayment or living a peaceful post retirement life, your savings and investment plan should cover it all. This is the only component of your budget in which you can go over the limit. At least 20% of your after tax income should be going towards saving and investing.

Pay yourself first

This budgeting technique is fairly straightforward. A specified and predetermined amount is taken out of the pay-check every month for savings, and the rest can be spent as you desire. This approach puts debt and savings ahead of needs.

Envelope method

This is another easy method where you have to pay with cash for everything. You must create distinct list for each category, such as groceries, meals, shopping, etc. When making a purchase, make sure to take the money from the appropriate envelope. You should never spend more than the amount allotted in any one category; if this happens, either take money from another envelope or skip that category entirely for the duration of the month.

Conclusion

Beginners need to embrace practical strategies and move past pretentious conversations when navigating the complicated world of financial planning. Important first steps include implementing the 50/30/20 rule, tracking your spending with apps, and avoiding overspending. A self-paying mindset, multiple bank accounts, and the envelope method provide extra layers of self-control. Carefully managing debt and allocating excess funds for investments are important factors in achieving financial independence. Financial planning is ultimately a personal process with clear goals that prioritize savings, debt reduction, and responsible spending. As the fiscal year goes on, these concepts break through the clamor of vacuous academic discourse and empower people to take charge of their financial futures.

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