This is one of the very personal posts I am writing on categorizing my spending based on my needs and wants as a woman with certain tastes and characteristics. It can vary for you or be on similar lines. If you want to learn about my investing tools check this post. I am writing this as I understood that setting the right expectations when it comes to budgeting relieves us of a lot of stress and unnecessary guilt and yet enjoy life sustainably.
When it comes to spending, it is tough to keep track of it. There are many things that can affect our minds and lead to impulse shopping. By “Impulse-shopping” I mean, sometimes we deal with our weak moments, anxieties, and stresses by buying stuff to get that much-needed dopamine release. It could also be our favorite social media influencer/celebrities favorite style, or we could just be a victim of a good marketing strategy(end-of-season sales by big sites like Amazon, Flipcart), etc. After we buy it, there is a sudden feeling of guilt that overpowers us but we could not help it.
In retrospect, we find out we didn’t “need” it but just “want” it at that moment.
Keeping everything in mind and yet enjoy the hard-earned money, below are the categories I chose to allocate my money to.
Fixed & Recurring needs: rent/mortgage (EMI), Internet/Wifi, Gym/health app subscriptions(investing in yourself is the most important thing)
Varying but essential needs: groceries, phone bills, Utilities(Water, gas, power), commute to office, maintenance of a vehicle(petrol(Gas), servicing, renewing registrations), etc.
Recurring “Wants”: Okay! I agree we have to save money with discipline and all but we need a way to spend our leisure time. considering Covid, online streaming platform subscriptions(like Prime, Netflix, or just cable TV), eating/taking out sometimes etc.
Varying “Wants”: This kind of expenditure is entirely optional. Still, it is good to allocate some amount every month so you are not overwhelmed when it suddenly shows up in your expenditure charts looking red ex: traveling for fun, celebrating a festival or hosting a party(birthday, anniversary etc). In my opinion, we should definitely allocate some money for this category as it builds healthy social relationships for us.
“Wants as a Woman”(WaaW): This is a special budget that you need to consider as a woman because we don’t wake up the way we look in pictures or the way we show up to work. We need some tools, parlor appointments, and at least some basic creams like moisturizers, sunscreens, and other toiletries as mother nature is harsher on us. So, I suggest you also allocate a little amount every month for this.
So if I have a $1000/Rs10,000 in my pocket, this is how I will allocate it. This is just an example and doesn’t represent my real budget
This keeps expectations more realistic and doesn’t make you feel guilty as you allocated some money to it. At the same time, you enjoy being a woman bringing more beauty into the world and enjoy your hard-earned money.
Bonus tip: Always pay for your essentials first(roof on top, food on your plate, I know you already have a lot of clothes so stop thinking of buying more :P), set autopay on your investments, and make sure you invest however much you can, even if it’s $10/Rs10 per month without fail and then allocate the remaining to “wants” whatever is left. It helps in guilt-free shopping.
Let me know your categories and how you allocate your budget in the comments.