Blown through your budget? Here’s how to manage your finances better in Hyderabad
When you moved to the city for your first real job at one of the top IT companies in Hyderabad, you were looking forward to being in charge of your own life. Without your parents hovering over your shoulders, or elder siblings making judgements about your choices, you were finally a real adult. But now it’s been a few months living in Hyderabad, and you find it difficult to manage your money. Sticking to a budget, setting a limit on expenses, paying bills on time, all of this is new to you. And if you’ve blown through your budget in record time, don’t worry, you’re still learning. To help you out, we’ve brought some of our top tips to manage your finances better and get back on track.
Understand the problem
If you’ve been draining your wallet regularly, it’s important to understand the root of the matter. What are you spending on most and why? Once you’ve got a tab on what exactly your major expenses are, apart from the essentials like rent and food, you can work on analysing what made you buy them. Look at the six pairs of shoes you bought last month and consider what your emotional state was when you purchased them. Were you just indulging in retail therapy or was it a friend who recommended you buy them? Once you’re able to understand the triggers that led to your overspending, you’ll also be able to identify ways to help yourself cut back.
Plan your spends
When it comes to budgeting, planning is key. The reason that most of us tend to exceed our budgets is because we don’t make strong or realistic plans. Remember what you learnt in ninth-grade maths. Income = Expenditure + Savings. If your expenditure exceeds your income, you’re obviously going to end up in a soup. So, budget only a fixed part of your income for your monthly expenses (including recreational costs) and save the rest. A good way of ensuring that you’re able to save even if you’re not great at sticking to a budget is to start a recurring deposit or a provident fund.
Download an app
Obviously, if you’d rather not be in charge of the planning and tracking yourself, you can depend on an app to do the job for you. There are several expense management and budget tracking apps available for both Android and iPhones. These apps usually have easy to follow visual aids and graphs that can help you keep track of what you’re spending on most often and when.
Limit impulse buys
You’re checking your email at work when you receive a notification that your favourite online store is having a sale. You immediately head over to the website and add all the items from your wishlist into your cart. After all, they’re on sale, so you’re totally saving money buying them now. Within minutes you’ve hit checkout and your order has been placed (and the amount debited from your account). These kinds of impulse purchases are pretty frequent, especially with the amount of advertising we receive on a daily basis. But it’s exactly these buys that often bulk up our monthly expenses. Most of the time, we make these purchases out of the need for instant gratification and without really thinking about whether we need the item. But if you’re serious about sticking to a budget, you need to rethink these impulse buys, even if they do seem to be a bargain. A quick hack that can help you with this is to remove your payment information from your online stores. This way, every time you have to make a purchase, you’ll have to input all your details from scratch, and the time taken to do this might make you rethink your urge to buy something you don’t really need.
Boost your income
Let’s make it easier. The more money you have, the more you can spend. So if you think your current budget isn’t letting you enjoy the lifestyle you want, start looking for ways to supplement your income. This will give you more money to work with which will definitely offset what you’re spending. Pick up a side gig online or offline, whether it’s creating content, tutoring, or doing deliveries, and you’ll be able to make some extra cash. You know some additional income will always be handy for you to manage the cost of living in Hyderabad, even if you’ve nailed the budgeting game.
And there you have it. Our top tips to help you manage your finances well. Don’t forget that it’s still okay to treat yourself once in a while, as long as you don’t go overboard.