If your goals for 2019 are financial, you will need to build a budget that works for you. Staying on budget doesn't have to be hard, or restrictive. The easier to follow your budget is, the more likely you are to stay on track and achieve your savings goals. Here are five budget myths to avoid in 2019.
1. Budgets aren't one-size-fits-all
Budgeting needs to be personalised to you. Some people will like to hand write all their expenses and income, others will use an app or spreadsheet. Use whatever you feel most comfortable with, and choose a system that suits your life. If you are into health and fitness, make this a category of your budget. If you like to bake on the weekend, ensure there is room in your weekly costs to buy ingredients. A template is a great start when building a budget, but be sure to make it your own.
2. Budgets are inflexible
The best, most effective budget is one that is flexible. You will never be able to plan for every purchase, and some months will always be more expensive than others. Keep this in mind when planning your budget, and come back to reassess it each month. It's important to adapt your budget to any changes in your life, job, or living arrangement.
3. Budgets deprive you of fun
Most people will think there's nothing fun about the word 'budget', and that following one will mean you can never have fun again. But there are lots of activities you can do that are cheap or free! You don't have to spend a lot to have a good weekend or fun night, just use some creativity and the internet to find some affordable activities!
4. Budgets mean giving up pleasures
We often see budgets as something that aims to strip us of our small pleasures in life. If you've ever read anything about budgeting or saving money, you've probably come across the figures that say you're wasting a lot of money on buying coffee out. But if getting a takeaway coffee is the best part of your commute to work, or adds significant value to your day, make room for it. A budget that works for you is the budget you will be able to stick to. You should, however, consider buying a reusable coffee cup if you are buying a brew every day. They are significantly better for the environment, and will save you a bit of cash every time.
5. Budgets are for people who have X amount of money
This one goes two ways. Some people feel that they earn enough money not to have to budget, whereas other may say they don't bring in enough cash to make a budget. Budget is an important skill for people of all levels of wealth. Knowing exactly where your money is going every week is an integral skill if you want to lead a financially healthy life. So don't wait until you earn a certain amount of money to build a budget, start now!