At the beginning of the year 2022, I made a decision.
I wanted to save better. 💰
Even as a financial planner, I sometimes find myself wondering "where did my money go?", too.
✅ Having a budget definitely helps to make me ask this question less.
With a budget, I save better. With a budget, I know what I'm spending on. And I know when I've spent too much (and on what!).
Some of us follow different budgeting rules like the 50/30/20 to help us manage our money better. Whatever your formula, I highly recommend having a budget to help avoid this question popping up from time to time.
While I was budgeting well, I wasn't so sure if I was saving enough for what I wanted. This resulted in a bit of reflecting and revised my own goals. I sat down, re-looked at the last few years of expenses and started to do some serious budgeting. I set a goal on how much to save every single month.
To keep myself accountable, I shared my savings journey on Instagram almost every month!
Here's how I performed:
Thoughts & Reflection
➡️ Setting a budget has guided me to be very conscious of every dollar I spend. For instance, I needed to purchase some new clothes for the Lunar New Year. So I set a budget before walking into the store. The outcome? Guilt free shopping!
➡️ It definitely isn’t easy. I think before I pay for anything. But this has also led me to be a lot more grounded in my spending. Many times, I come to realise I bought things I want, and not what I needed. That being said, I am in a very privileged situation where I still live with my parents and they do not need much from me.
➡️ Reminded myself that things don’t have to be perfect all the time. I started this journey wanting to be more purposeful with my savings. It was never about the amount or % I set aside.
➡️ Don’t forget that money is just a tool and never let it determine your quality of life. If it matters to you, go for it! (sensibly of course)
➡️ Set a minimum amount to save and allow some indulgences from time to time. March and April are celebratory months for us as it’s my sis and mum’s birthdays. If I had forced myself to save more, I would have to skimp on the expenses for them. It is an irony when the purpose of working hard is to provide abundance for my loved ones.
➡️ Money is a tool to reach a lifestyle. 🎉 Focus on the goal of a better lifestyle and freedom to enjoy the best asset you have - your time. This is why money is great to have and accumulate. For me, the little joy of accumulating enough to be able to indulge myself and my loved ones and still be able to do what matters to me, is success itself.
➡️ At the beginning, I may have overthought the whole thing about budgeting and savings. Instead of trying to squeeze out a % I could save, I then learnt that I should set aside a non-negotiable amount first. Then, if I find myself having extra, I can decide if I wish to do something nice for myself or my loved ones or even save the monies too.
➡️ I’ve never really had a travel budget but I know of some friends and clients who put aside $X dollars every month into a ‘vacation fund’. In doing so, they account for travelling in their month-to-month expenses. Looking at the trips I’ve taken, I’ll start to budget for a travel fund in my monthly expenses as well. I’d prefer not to see my savings take a nosedive if I’m travelling more in a given year 🤭
➡️ Save for a purpose!
What's next? I will continue this journey in 2023 and hope to be better in months and years to come.
If you’re on a journey to also learn how to manage your finances better, let me know! Would love to exchange ideas and learn from each other!