Budgets are difficult to live within, but, they also help you keep personal finances in control. Everybody budgets themselves; individuals to organizations and even Governments.
Personal budgeting has no set rule though. It is usually entirely up to the key breadwinner(s) of each family to decide how to plan their expenses and save for the future.These are after all the two key goals of personal budgeting besides several others.
When drawing up a budget plan for yourself, do you often find your personal account sheet has expenses you can actually save on?
Here are the top 5 unnoticed things that eat into ‘today’s budgets’.
I hope this helps make next month’s finances a lot less tight!
1. Multi-provider internet bills
You have a data plan on your mobile. Now that a lot of people use more than 1 sim number, that probably translates into more than 1 data plan in some cases per person. Add to that, the Wi-fi charges at home, data plans for the kid's phones and dependent partner (if any) and others if at all. The Internet is a ‘need’ in today’s time, I support that. But it is possible to be smarter here and plan your internet charges. Sometimes, your mobile data pack may actually be giving you more data than your home internet provider.
Ensure that you compare and get the most data for your home internet connection at the most competitive rate so that paying for multiple data packs on cellular phones doesn’t just seem like a duplication. Moreover, keep your mobile data plan off when at home so it can at least last till the end of the month, without the need for more top-ups or booster packs.
2. Unplanned daily commuting charges
Several young working professionals rely on Uber or Ola cab services to commute back and forth from work to home. Surge pricing can literally make 1 trip seem like 10.
Using cabs for short distances doesn’t make it a competitive option either in many cases. Two-wheelers and self-owned four-wheelers may seem to make it easier to save on commuting because you pay for your own petrol or diesel. Yet, due to distances or other reasons, not everyone can drive or ride to work.
Try to avoid using cab services during surge pricing. Try carpooling instead. Avoid commuting during peak hours so you can save on daily expenses.Wherever possible, make use of comfortable public transport facilities.
3. Surplus grocery leading to waste
Ever so often, you pick up a ketchup bottle only to return home to notice there is already one in use that is still almost full. Or, you buy extra tomatoes not realizing that there is already a ripe bunch in the fridge.
To avoid wasting and spending more than necessary on groceries, stick to making lists when things run out or when they are about to run out so you only buy what’s needed.
4. Communication Charges
Calling your partner or other family members multiple times a day is a normal routine nowadays thanks to everyone owning a personal mobile device. However, if you don’t use perks like ‘Family Plans’ and ‘service-to-service’ free SMS or calling packs, then you may be losing out on money you can easily save.
Several providers offer free calling between same-service numbers or packs with similar features. Use them and talk more but spend less!
5. Late utility and associated payments
It's so easy to forget to make payments on time. There are mobile bills, landline bills, direct-to-home dish charges to pay on time and the list goes on. But when you miss a deadline, most providers end up charging you a penalty. Now suppose you make every payment late, that’s a lot of penalty money that could otherwise have been saved.
So what can you do?
Use payment apps and set a date for each payment to be done automatically. This will help ensure you make payments on time!