Budgeting is always a hot topic. There seems to be a lot of advice about budgeting but there is a critical element that is often not addressed. A budget should be based on a person’s lifestyle. A budget that is based on a person’s lifestyle is a budget that is designed to be successful. Learn about ways you can create a budget that is based on your lifestyle.
Care For Your Loved Ones
A budget should be based on a person’s lifestyle that can help to prepare for the future for the individual and that individual’s loved ones. As your parent’s age, they may need help covering the cost of independent living communities expenses. They may not need you to cover all of their expenses but they may need a little financial support with some of the extras.
This scenario is exactly why a budget should be based on a person’s lifestyle and individual needs. For example, if a friend comes from a family that is wealthy, they likely would not have to budget for a future where they may need to help provide financial support for senior loved ones. Another example is budgeting for children’s college expenses.
If you have children, it is important to keep them in mind when you are deciding on your budget. You want to ensure that your children do not have to take on debt to get through college. This is another good example of why a budget should be based on a person’s family needs.
Prepare For Final Expenses and Accommodations
Many people do not think about the cost of final expenses until they are over a certain age. However, you never know what can happen at any age. If you have a family, it is important that you have plans in place in case the unthinkable happens.
It is essential that you prepare for final expenses so that your family does not have to take on the financial burden. Many people choose affordable cremation as an option for end-of-life care. Cremation can be about one-third the cost of burial costs. There are several benefits to budgeting now for final expenses. You can lock in the price if you sign up now to start making payments.
The cost of final expenses is on the rise and will likely continue to rise. Locking in a price now and getting the cost out of the way will ensure that your family does not have to take on the burden and you will be able to save some money.
A budget should be based on a person’s future needs for managing final expenses. Including final expenses in your budget is a responsible thing to do. It can be an easy expense to manage.
Find Health Programs For Yourself
A budget should be based on a person’s family obligations but it should also be based on the individual’s needs and wants. For example, you can design a budget that will help pay for cosmetic surgeries, weight loss programs, and other procedures that your health insurance does not cover.
Budgeting for expenses for both necessary medical care and optional medical care is a worthy budget goal. You can achieve this budget goal by either taking a pay-yourself-first model where you set money on the side to save for the costs or you can look for a pay-as-you-go plan and budget for that amount. These types of expenses are exactly why a budget should be based on a person’s lifestyle because each person has unique wants and needs.
Look After Your Home
When you are designing your budget do not forget about including home maintenance costs and potential necessary repairs. You should have a few different categories for your budgeting. A budget should be based on a person’s family needs, personal needs, and wants and a budget should be based on a person’s home maintenance needs.
As a homeowner, you never know when you may need to call a plumber, roofer, or electrician to make repairs. You want to be able to have money budgeted for the unexpected things that could go wrong in your home. It is important that you have several different funds set up to ensure that you are financially prepared for any type of necessary repair.
Improve Your Outdoor Spaces
A budget should be based on a person’s desire to improve their home. Some experts will recommend that you sacrifice or hold off making improvements to your home in the name of staying within your budget. You can create a budget that includes money to improve your outdoor spaces. The fact is, some of the work that you need to get done is likely more “need” than “want”. For example, tree removal may be necessary to protect your home. Creating a budget that makes room for covering the costs of improving outdoor spaces is possible.
You can focus on budgeting for the needs first, then start working on the wants. Getting that dangerous tree removed is a good place to start. Once that is out of the way, you can start budgeting for the other things that you want to do in your outdoor spaces. Whenever you are considering a budget, it is important that you consider all the things that you want to get done around your home, including the outdoor spaces.
Do Something for Others
You always want to make room for humanitarian causes in your budget. A budget should be based on a persons personal humanitarian interests. Choose a charity that you believe in and consider making automatic payments each month. It does not have to be a large amount of giving, but it will make you feel better if you do give something to your charity each month.
If money is tight and financial giving is not in the cards right now, you could budget your time to give time to your favorite charity. Budgeting time is just like budgeting money. You decide what slice of time you can donate.
Change Things Up In Your Home
We hit on the idea of budgeting to improve your outdoor spaces. You should also budget for your indoor space as well. For example, if you have your heart set on custom closet design, there is a way to pay for it. You may not be able to have the custom closet work done that you want right now, but if you start including the costs in your budget every month in a couple of months, you will have the money to pay for it.
Simply divide the estimated costs of installing the customized closet and break it up into as many payments as you need to fit into your budget. Use a pay-yourself method of saving for the closet of your dreams. A lot of people find success with the envelope method. You take cash out of each paycheck you receive and put it in an envelope that is earmarked for whatever you are saving for. You can use this method for things like grocery money, car payments, household bills, savings, and more. The good thing about this method is if you stay under budget on a specific “envelope”, then you can move any excess cash right into savings.
Find Niche Hobbies and Sources of Income
Sometimes the best thing you can do for a budget is to feed it with more streams of income. Finding a niche hobby that you enjoy participating in and then selling the goods that a hobby produces is a great way to create a second income stream or a “side hustle”. For example, if you love to tinker and invent, you can easily learn how to sell my invention and make a nice chunk of change in the process.
There are plenty of online resources to learn how you can patent your invention and sell it. You could really hit the jackpot and wind up making monthly royalties off the invention. Of course, you do not need to invent something to make money off your hobby.
There are websites that cater to the handmade industry. If you enjoy knitting, crocheting, painting with acrylics, creating pottery, and creating fashion, there is a market to sell right online. In many cases, start-up is free, and the only thing you must invest in is the materials that you need for your hobby. Of course, if you enjoy your hobby, you will already be investing in materials. Selling your goods should cover the cost of materials. It is a win-win situation. Many people are easily able to supplement their income on a bigger budget by selling their homemade or handmade goods online.
Plan for Fun
Another reason why a budget should be based on a person’s preference is that everyone needs to have a little fun now and then, but what is fun for one person is not necessarily fun for another. For example, for an avid golfer, a good time is a time spent on the links. For someone that is a theater buff, a good time is going to the theater. Beach lovers want to go to the beach. The cost of each of these activities varies greatly. However, the cost of whatever you enjoy doing with your downtime should be included in your budget.
It is important to plan for fun and entertainment in your budget. It is an expense, and all expenses should be covered by your budget. Many people make the mistake of budgeting for entertainment and including a random amount. Get a little more specific about what it will take for you to have some fun. For example, golfing is likely more expensive than seeing a movie once a month. Budgeting with the cost of what you like to do in mind will help you to come up with a realistic budget that will suit your personal needs. Planning for fun is a great motivator when it comes to budgeting. It can help you to stay on track when you know there is a good time headed your way if you stick to your budget.
Budgets Should be Customized
One of the mistakes that people make with budgeting is they take a copy-and-paste approach to budgeting. They read about what other people are doing and they try to duplicate that model exactly. The fact is a budget should be based on a person’s individual needs. There is no one size fits all approach to budgeting.
To find success with budgeting, you have to be honest with yourself about what your short-term and long-term financial goals are and then consider the things that are important to you. If you budget for the things that you need and the things that you want, budgeting feels a lot less like a sacrifice and more like a plan.
A good rule of thumb when it comes to budgeting is to start with a list. List all of your debt, list all of the things you want to be prepared for in the short term, and all of the things you want to be prepared for in the long term. Then figure out how much you can dedicate to each of the categories every pay period. Your budget does not have to look like any other budget. It can be as unique as you are. The goal should be to create a budget that matches your personal lifestyle. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to budgeting.
Create a budget that supports your lifestyle and it will be a budget that is much easier to stick to. Learn more about budgeting for individual needs today.