July 2012 - It's a fresh start for a new month, and just like that, we're already halfway through 2012. By this time, as a working individual, you have already earned six months worth of your monthly salary, some performance incentives, or even a mid-year bonus.
Now remember the goals that you have set for yourself to achieve from this year onwards: to buy a new house, to purchase a new car, or maybe to go on that long planned vacation out of the country --- let's do a quick pulse check on where you are now, shall we?
There are two important steps that you have to do in order to execute a well-thought-out personal financial plan:
1.) To create an achievable budget; and
2.) To stick to it.
If you are one of those who religiously stayed within the budget month-over-month yet still managed to live comfortably, then give yourselves a pat on the back. Progress is a good sign. No matter how fast or slow it may seem, you are moving inch-by-inch closer to your dreams.
On the other hand, if you are one of those who chose to compromise their budgets by giving in to the temptation of spending mostly on things you wanted to buy or places you'd love to go to, I guess you may have probably thought of slapping yourself at some point. In case you did, give yourself one full forced slap. It might help you to get back on track.
The typical work cycle: You live to earn, and you earn to live. And generally, the more you earn, the more you spend. For whatever purpose you have with your hard-earned income, keep in mind that there is also one constant thing: you will lose money. So don't let your money dictate on how you should live your life. You can be in control; after all, the best things in life are still free.
Why is it easier to spend money today rather than to save up for the future? It's all about the mindset. Saving up for the future also means setting a limit to what you can spend today, and that what makes it difficult.
A new high-tech gadget has been released,
your favorite shop declared a super sale,
your favorite band stages a concert,
the airlines declared a seat sale
--- all these things are meant for you to enjoy and you have every right to spend your money on them. Just make sure you set high priority over the things that would matter in the long term.
Choose to live a lifestyle which you are capable of sustaining. Earn more than what you spend. There's nothing wrong in living a frugal life. For as long as your morals are intact, people will love you for who you are. And, hey, wouldn't it be cool to invite your friends someday to hang out in your new home?