Creating a Budget that Works for you-Even if Your Income is Low

Most of us probably face the struggle of managing our finances every day. Especially with the high rise in costs, the income that we bring in monthly does not match the rise in costs. 


Struggling between choosing the best option and hunting for the cheaper option. Sacrifices must be made to make sure our daily livelihood is enough for us to live. 


In time, it creates anger towards the economy and government, making us more stressed every time we spend on anything. At some point, we lost hope and did not find joy in spending anymore. 


With that said in mind, we push ourselves till the brick, to the point where we are not even sure if it’s worth the struggle anymore. How are we to break the struggle? 


One of the first steps that can be taken in order to keep your finances in order is to create a budget and stick to it. It helps us prioritise our spending and make sure we are not overspending on things that do not bring us joy. Additionally, finding alternative ways to enjoy our time, such as free activities or hobbies, can also help us break the cycle of struggling with spending. 


It can be very difficult at first to start off by writing in detail about our financial habits because they reflect how we live. It forces us to face the devil within us because, at the end of the day, we are the ones in control of our finances. We cannot improve if we do not face our insecurities. Most of the time, we mindlessly spend daily; therefore, in order to change our circumstances, we must start cultivating financial wisdom. If we do not start creating a proper budget, we tend to indulge our egos when spending our money. The ego acts against your own best interests because its survival depends on your misery. Hence, our monthly cycle of finances struggles every time we receive our monthly pay. 


Financial wisdom is not only about keeping money in your bank account; it also includes your habits and thoughts. By creating a budget, it helps you to be more focused on your spending habits and helps you make better spending choices. In addition, financial wisdom also involves understanding your own emotions and behaviors towards money. It is important to recognise any insecurities or fears you may have surrounding money and work towards overcoming them in order to make sound financial decisions. 


Calculate your earnings.


Know the numbers that you are bringing after deducting all automatic payments that either you or your employer have made. Once you have a clear understanding of your income, create a budget that prioritises your essential expenses and leaves room for savings and discretionary spending. It’s also important to regularly review and adjust your budget as necessary to ensure you stay on track towards your financial goals. 


The goal is to put at least 10% of your earnings into savings and spend at least 20% of your earnings on something you truly enjoy. It is very important for us to not just mindlessly spend on things that we do not even enjoy, but to spend on things that truly give us joy. At the end of the day, it is not just about accumulating wealth but also about living a fulfilling life. By allocating a portion of our earnings towards something that brings us happiness, we are investing in our own well-being and overall satisfaction with life. This balance between saving and spending on enjoyable experiences can lead to a more meaningful and enjoyable life. 


Set reasonable targets. 


Do not ever compare your lives with the ones that are on social media or even with those of your close friends and family. They might not even share the same goals and aspirations as you do. The only way for you to have a joyful budget is to make yourself the main focus. 


Spending too much time on social media can lead to comparing your life to others and feeling like you need to keep up with their spending habits. It’s important to remember that everyone’s financial situation is different, and it’s okay to prioritise your own financial goals over social expectations. Additionally, setting realistic and achievable financial goals can help you stay motivated and on track towards a more joyful budget. 


Sometimes what brings you joy is just having a nice day strolling through the park or even having a simple dinner with the family at home. While others love to spend on quality things or even have a hobby they like to spend on. It is important that we prioritise what we really love to spend on and stick to it. 


At times, we tend to spend on things that we do not enjoy just because someone on social media did, and we think we would enjoy them too. Expensive handbags, expensive drinks, and all the other influences that might be shared on social media might not necessarily bring us happiness. It is important to remember that our own happiness and satisfaction should be the driving force behind our spending habits. By focusing on what truly brings us joy, we can avoid overspending and make more intentional choices with our money. 


Make use of the savings tracker. 


It is best that as soon as you get paid, you put aside your savings. So that you would not be tempted to spend it on unnecessary things. Additionally, setting specific financial goals can also help motivate us to stick to our savings plan and make smarter spending decisions. 


If you are a more visual person and get motivated to see your progress in saving money, perhaps it would be a great idea for you to use a saving tracker. Having a visual representation of your progress on the wall will be a great motivation to invest more of your savings. Additionally, you can set specific goals and milestones for yourself on the tracker to keep yourself accountable and motivated. It can also be helpful to involve a friend or family member in your savings journey to provide support and encouragement. 


Enjoy the journey and revise when necessary. 


At times, it can still be frustrating when your finances do not go as planned. Sometimes we face emergencies and need to dip into our emergency fund. However, it’s important to remember that setbacks are a natural part of the process and shouldn’t discourage you from continuing to save. Additionally, regularly reviewing and adjusting your budget can help you stay on track and reach your financial goals more effectively. 


Keeping track of all the things that you have gone through that you enjoy and also the struggle points can be used for our own reflection. A study of UK commuters found a similar result when those who were prompted to use their commute to think about and plan for their day were happier, more productive, and less burned out than people who weren’t.  


Final thought 


There is no such thing as a perfect budget, and our finances will always experience ups and downs. As soon as we realise that, the sooner we can understand that it’s important to be flexible and make adjustments as needed. By having a plan for our day, we can approach our finances with a clearer mind and make more informed decisions. It’s all about finding a balance that works for us and our unique circumstances.  


Taking the first step towards taking responsibility for our financial well-being can be daunting, but having a plan in place can provide a sense of control and confidence. Additionally, regularly reviewing and adjusting our plan can help us stay on track and adapt to any changes in our financial situation. 


We would always feel that it was too late to save ourselves, but with a solid financial plan, we can take proactive steps towards achieving our goals and securing our future. It’s never too early or too late to start planning for our financial well-being, and the benefits of doing so are immeasurable. 


Focus on your dreams and goals. It is possible to achieve your wildest dreams even when you are beginning with a small income. By setting financial goals and creating a budget, we can take control of our finances and make informed decisions about spending and saving. Additionally, seeking advice from financial experts or utilising online resources can provide valuable insights and strategies for achieving long-term financial stability. 


Share with me your financial journey! How are you managing your current budget?