You might have drawn up a budget countless times and promised yourself you’ll stick to it, but time after time, you realize you spent more than budgeted on your shopping; perhaps, N5,000 more, or N10, 000 more or (drum roll) N50,000 more. Don’t be so hard on yourself, you are not alone.
However, by following these guidelines and exercising a strong willpower, it’ll be much easier to write out your budget and stick to it.
Here’s how to nail your budget.
1. keep It Real. Let’s say you give yourself N50,000 each month for outfit shopping but consistently spend three times that amount. Why not meet in the middle? Go ahead and cut back, but also budget a little more if you can. Perhaps aim for N80,000 instead. The closer your plan is to reality, the more likely it is that you’ll stick to it.
2. Get an utility card. The GTBank Utility Card serves as a multi-purpose card which can be used securely for Web based transactions and transactions at the ATM, POS and other means to easily purchase goods and services within and outside the country. Because the card is a prepaid card, there is provision for safety of funds since none of your accounts are linked to it. Moreover, you can also limit your transactions levels due to the flexibility of loading it when you need it.
This can help you to easily distinguish each of your transactions. To put it simply, Do you need to buy groceries worth N7,000 at the supermarket? Draw a list of what you need with their prices and preload your utility card with that exact amount so you don’t exceed that amount while shopping with the card.
3. Wait It Out. You’re window-shopping (with absolutely no intention of buying anything) when you see the perfect outfit you never knew you needed but you’d already spent all your clothing allowance at the GTBank Fashion Weekend. Take a breath and try this instead: Tell yourself you can buy it, but not until next month. By then, you’ll either have enough saved up or you’ll decide you don’t like it that much after all.
4. Buy in bulk. If you can save money, over the course of a month or two, by buying in bulk, plan to do so. But be sure that you’re going to use all of it before it gets bad — it isn’t cheaper to buy in bulk if you don’t use it. Also it pays to buy things when they are in season as they tend to be cheaper, every Nigerian Mom knows this.
5. Go for Discounts. Utilize the deals available on the SME Market Hub where everything from fashion accessories and electronics are currently on discount. If you are shopping at the supermarket, look for the discount aisle where items near their expiration date are stocked. This items usually have their prices slashed and if you are using them immediately, it won’t hurt to buy those instead.