The Cambridge Dictionary defines Austerity Measures as “official action by a government to reduce the amount of money it spends, or the amount of money that people in a country spend.” These words are being incorporated into our language as we hear of more budget cuts to reduce on spending.
As one would logically conclude, these measures are also affecting the spending habits at home. Well, as of today, I am going to announce the budget cuts at home in true Minister of Finance fashion. Briefcase, fancy dress and hat. A full speech too.
In all seriousness, it is a time to think more on how to spend less without breaking bank and falling into debt. Saving will also appear to be a far fetched idea but I want to be positive about it and stick to it. There a few ideas I picked up along the way to help the situation and certainly hope they will be effective.
By the way, the government has introduced a scheme to pay back student loans for a period of ten years through monthly deductions for those on the Government Payroll. Alas, I am one of the fishes in the net and the first deduction was not pretty and did not feel great. Here goes my austerity measures for the next ten years!
- Adopting a mindset of saving rather than spending.
- Have a spreadsheet of all key expenses. I have a spreadsheet that is fully customisable to your NEEDS. Fill it out every month, starting with the important stuff first like rent, utility bills, food and transport. You definitely don’t want to be homeless, without water and power(unless loadshedding happens), hungry and stranded at point B with no means to get to point A.
- Do set aside something to throw into a savings account for that really rainy day. This starts with what is in point 1. Save rather than spend. Kindly note that you will need to spend sometimes crying as you put back that beloved product back on the shelf and just wail as you walk out of the store with the important stuff.
- I can’t remember the other stuff because I can sense an ugly cry for the stuff I will miss out on till I get my books in order especially after the cuts on my salary. Coming to think of it, adaptation is also important in this regard.
Be assured that you will not live a boring life with all these measures. You will just be more prudent. I have had great holidays thanks to the savings mentality. It takes some calculations but you will get there eventually.