Take Control of Your Budget Again—5 Rules to Make Your Budget Plan Actually Work
Name the 10 most common new year’s resolutions and this one is definitely on the list: save more money / spend less money.
Every year you tell yourself, “I will make a better budget plan,” yet years go by and you’re only left with more debts and disappointments. Rest assured you are not alone; many of us share a similar story. But from today, you can choose to work with gini.
In this article, we will help you make your budget and teach you how to consistently stick with it. Take control of your budget again, and keep it!
Rule 1: Be realistic and set an achievable goal.
One major reason why we can’t make our budget plan work is we are unrealistic when we goal. Very often we are either setting our goals too high or time for achieving our goal is too long.
Say your monthly income is HK$20,000, you can’t expect to save HK$40,000 per month. We all know this plan is destined to fail, unless you win a lottery. If you do count lottery as an investment, that’s another story. But after all, it’s a gamble, not a plan.
Back to a plan. Say you want to save HK$40,000 in a year. Sounds fair this time, right? But let’s not forget most of us tend to remember our goal only when the deadline is approaching. You can’t expect yourself to spend like a drunken sailor on shore leave for 11 months and hit the goal in the 12th month. So what now?
When you do the math and break it down, saving HK$40,000 in a year actually means less than HK$4,000 a month, around $800 per week and less than HK$120 per day.
Everyone has a different spending pattern. Be realistic and break your goal into smaller savings goals. On top of leading you to successful saving, you’ll also get to enjoy celebrating many small wins throughout your journey!
Photo credit: @Square
Rule 2: Strike a balance between your income and spending.
Credit cards after credit cards—with one account for your full-time salary, and another for your part-time and freelance jobs. You end up having tons of accounts that constantly complicate your budget and your life.
The same happens to your income. Your main salary is not all of your income. To know how much you can actually use, it’s important to also take your extra income into consideration.
In the latest version of gini, you can select multiple incomes and adjust predicted recurring expenses to reflect the actual situation for the month. We consolidate all your selected sources of income and list out all recurring and up-to-date expenses. So on gini’s Simple Saving budget plan, when we say OK To Spend, you can freely enjoy the sweetness of spending in the remaining budget period.
Rule 3: Have clear visibility of your spending activities.
Even provided with the same amount of income, our spending habits vary. It’s important to compare your saving goal with your spending habits to come up with a truly realistic saving goal.
For example, while 2 people have the same monthly income of HK$20,000, saving HK$4,000 per month can be realistic to the one who lives with their family, but unrealistic to someone who needs to pay HK$16,000 for their rent.
This is where gini comes into place. gini is not just another money-tracker. While we do capture all of your expenses in one simple and easy-to-use app, we go further than that. We analyse. Every month, we generate reports that show you what you are spending your money on, turning your transaction data into insights, so you can easily stay on top of your budget.
With our smart AI, gini auto-categorizes your expenses into 14 categories, including Income, Housing, Transport, Groceries, Education, Utilities, Eating out, Shopping/Leisure, Health and Beauty, Vacation, Investments, etc.
1. All categories at once.
Under Category Spend, the pie chart on gini shows you how much you’ve spent on different categories that month. This allows you to understand what category you tend to spend a lot on. Dive deeper into this in the gini app and you might find out that there are some easy areas to cut, like the number of times you eat out each week, or fewer taxis. Knowledge is power! Having real time automated visibility to your spending data gives you the ability to make tweaks throughout your week to ensure that you at the end of the month – you’ve met your budget.
2. Know your top spendings
Understanding your spending habits is the first step to success in budgeting. gini lists your Biggest Spending and the Most Visited of the month for you. This lets you know exactly how many times you’ve been to that same restaurant or store, so you can easily adjust your behavior yourself to reduce your spending!
Rule 4: Keep track of how well you’re saving.
gini’s latest budgeting feature Simple Saving makes your budget plan even simpler. When you click in to set your saving goal, you can choose an exact percentage that you want to save each month. If you’d like to follow the 50/30/20 budget rule, simply set your goal to 20%. Check in to your saving goal day. Our easy to use savings rings will help you to stay on track by telling you what you is Ok to spend for the month.
In order to be on top of your savings at all time, you can now track your saving history on “Saved with gini”. Month by month you can see your savings chronologically. And all together you can have a picture of how much gini has helped you save from day one.
Rule 5: Reward yourself when you achieve the goal.
We all need some motivation to go on. When you set your goal, don’t forget to set a reward for yourself too!
Saved with gini also appears as a pop-up to celebrate your hard work. When you see the medal on your character’s neck, treat yourself! An ice-cream, a feast, a little backpacking, anything that refreshes you – that of course is within your budget.
It’s time to take control of your budget again – Download gini now and apply the 5 budget rules in an actual way!
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