HOW TO SET A MONTHLY BUDGET (AND WHY DO IT)

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At the end of every month, do you find yourself nervously checking the calendar while periodically logging on to your online banking account?

I do (sometimes).

For the average wage-earner, salary day is the monthly beacon of hope in the never-ending struggle of modern day living. But look long term, and disturbing questions arise: “Will I ever own a nice home?” “Will I ever be rich?” “Will I have enough for retirement?”

In this article we’ll look at how budgeting can help you manage your finances better.

WHY BUDGET?

The painfully simple rule of accumulating money is – spend less than you earn and invest the rest. The question is: how much should I be spending each month – on my home, my car and my overpriced mocha lattes? Here’s where a good budget comes in. A fixed percentage of your salary to use for each of your needs and wants so you can control your finances.

A percentage based budget is scalable. Meaning you can use it whether you earn RM 3,000 a month or RM 30,000. You’ll just need to tweak it to adapt to your needs. If you earn less, you need to spend more on meeting essential needs like housing and transportation – so you’ll save and invest less. If you earn more, you can tweak the percentages to save and invest more. That’s how to slowly, but eventually become rich.

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