All of us are usually interested in our country’s budget, with most of us tuning on the TV to listen to the President read the budget every year. Few of us, however, take time out to prepare and present our own personal budget, whether to ourselves or to our families. Drawing up a personal budget, which is essentially how you plan to spend your money, is an essential requirement to effectively manage your financial health.

Here are some tips on drawing up a personal budget:
  1. Make up your mind
This is usually the difficult part. The decision to draw up a budget is not an easy one, so make up your mind that you are going to create a budget. If you are married, then you will also need to convince your spouse on your decision to draw up a family budget. Once decided, the next task will be to determine if it is going to be a monthly, quarterly, half yearly or annual budget.

  1. Determine your total income
For a salaried worker, this is easy. But for self employed individuals, it may mean clearly distinguishing what is personal expense and what is business expense. For self employed people, it also means that they must have predetermined what is their salary from the business they run.

  1. Determine your expense
The next step in creating a budget is to determine your personal expenses. This should cover all your recurrent and non-recurrent expenses. You should also make provision for compulsory expenditures like government levies as well as essential expenses like children school fees and pocket money, if you have any. Make it simple by breaking all your expenses into compulsory, essential and optional. Compulsory is legally binding expenses which you must pay or else you may end up in prison. Essential, are expenses like school fees, electricity bills, and car maintenance or transportation costs, feeding among others. Optional could be entertainment, holidays among others.  Also make some provision for emergency funds.

  1. Implement
You require a high level of discipline to effectively implement your budget. If you are a married person, you also need the total buy-in of your spouse to ensure that you do not abandon the budget soon after drawing it up. However, you can also be flexible in implementing your budget. You can negotiate items on your optional list and even cut down on your essential list where for example; you may have placed “subscription to cable TV,” if you find that your finances are on shaky ground and you can no longer afford the subscription.
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