Tag Archives: Budget
One of the best moments in a couple’s life is when they start a family. It adds more pleasure and happiness when you have a baby and you will hold it in your arms. Before you plan for a baby, it is important that you know about all the costs and if you will be able to afford it. After you have a baby, your expenses will go up for the long term. So you must check your income before finalizing this decision.
It starts from regular appointments with the doctors, then going for medical checkups and routine investigations, and then you make the final bookings for the day of delivery. It can be quite heavy on your wallet. And these expenses will keep on increasing even after the delivery, because you now have three heads to look after. You have to buy all the necessary things for the baby. Starting from diapers to pieces of cloth to pram, the number is uncountable.
When the time comes and you know that you are going to become a parent, you feel very excited and many parents waste a lot of money in this excitement. They start buying all sorts of toys and clothes when they don’t even know when the baby is going to come. Hence it is important to keep your emotions intact and not waste money like this. You should save this money for prenatal care. It can be used for all the doctor’s appointments, ultrasounds and regular health checkups. It can cost up to $2000 on an average.
When you are approaching the delivery date, you have to make bookings in the hospital. A normal delivery can cost up to $15000 and a cesarean operation can cost up to $20000. It is important to have an insurance cover before you start your family as these expenses can be included in it. Once you have the baby, then it is time to buy clothes, diapers, feeders, milk, sleeping bed, pram and toys. It should not cost you more than $5000 on an average.
Life is just not just about big dreams, high end luxuries and expensive comforts. Amidst your hectic schedule and working hard to make your both ends meet, you may often forget to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. These pleasures, though may seem trivial or frivolous in nature, can bring immense satisfaction to you. They are called the finer joys of life.
Ever wondered about the finer joys of your life? Well, here is a small list:
- Looking at the joy on your child’s face when you take them for their dance class
- Dropping your wife for Zumba classesen route to your office.
- Pursuing that long-cherished hobby of learning to play the guitar.
- Watching your favourite singer performing live in a concert.
This list can be endless. You have an earnest desire to live these finer joys, but then there is the other side of the coin which calls for being practical to make them come true. You need to make time to do these little things you want to do as well as manage your finances to spend about the same.
Managing your time is relatively easier. You could start waking 15 minutes earlier every morning. Or you could limit your screen or digital media hours. You can even set aside a dedicated hour of the day for ‘me time’ and ‘family time’.
But, what about the money part? This requires a conscious and systematic planning at your end. Here is what you could do to achieve the finer joys in your life without worrying much about the finances.
- Make a Budget
Write down income and expenses (better, if maintained in an excel sheet). Review once in a fortnight or a month. Analyze the reasons if you have exceeded the budget on some counts. Try and live within the budget.
- Save Smartly
You should aim to save at least 15 – 30% of your income to meet the key milestones of your life – child’s education & marriage, own home, retirement, etc. Keep a long term perspective and allocate your savings to a diversified portfolio comprising fixed income securities, equity funds and insurance plans (life, health and non – life) for a better risk-return trade-off. Also, keep an emergency fund, equivalent to your 3 – 6 months, aside to meet unforeseen expenses. Similarly, you should allocate a part of your income towards the expenses that you will need to incur on the finer joys of life. This way, you and your family can enjoy the small pleasures of life without creating an additional burden on your budget.
- Invest in a Money-back Policy
The finer joys can occur at different stages of your life. To be able to enjoy them as and when the time comes, you need money at periodic intervals. Rather than juggling your finances impulsively in future for such things, it is better to plan for regular payouts ahead of time. A money-back planis quite suitable with this regards. It gives a guaranteed income flow at fixed stages during the policy term, so that you have the money when you need it the most. You could plan the payouts as and when you desire to fund the finer joys of your life. With a money-back plan in your investment kitty, you have an additional source of income in hand and you can glide through your recurring financial commitments smoothly.
If you plan your time and finances well, you need not forget, sacrifice or postpone those finer dreams in your life. Start planning today, your little joys are waiting to unfold!
Due to the recent downsized economy, most of the families are cutting back on their spending habits. A lot of hard work is required when you are trying to make a living within a restricted budget. One has to work overtime if it is offered, or work a second job. Expenses are also minimized by cutting back on travel, groceries, dining out, movies etc. Due to this, many people start comprising with their happiness in life and don’t have fun. There are ways to enjoy and have fun within a fixed budget.
Clip and use coupons from the newspaper or the internet or both. Beware of the sites that ask for a membership fee. Keep on purchasing the items that you do regularly and never know, you will get some good offers and save more money.
Shop online when it makes sense. Sometimes, you will get a better deal on an item on the internet but make sure that you are aware of the shipping costs. If the same item is available in the store in your area and will cost less, then it does not make sense to purchase that item on the internet and pay the shipping costs.
Eat out sparingly. Eating out in restaurants and other places is always going to cost more and then you will have to think about your health also. You can do a lot of savings by eating regularly at home. Occasionally, when you go out, try to avoid the expensive buffets. There are some low costs buffets serving quality food.
Watching movies in a budget theater. Many cities have discounted movie theater that shows movies after they have been shown at the main stream theaters. Another option is to attend a matinee show or the morning show where the ticket prices are lower from the evening shows.
Zoos, mini-golf, water parks, skating rinks, etc. almost always have a time when admission is discounted or downright free. Take advantage of these days when they come up. When practical, take a picnic lunch and extra bottles of water. Again, avoiding concessions as much as possible will save you money.
There are some great ways to have fun on a budget, and these are just a few. You will find more ways to enjoy in your life and stay happy.