A sensible man watches for problems ahead and prepares to meet them. The simpleton never looks, and suffers the consequences. (Proverbs 27:12)
So you have received your summer bonus and you think you have every right to spend it in any way that you want?
Did it ever occur to you that knowing how to spend your bonus or any income that may come your way is something that you have to really learn?
Just like acquiring skills in writing, typing, computer and internet operations, one needs to sit down and take time to learn how to become a skillful or wise spender.
For sure many of us have never taken time to study and learn how to spend wisely your money. Probably, we only followed what our parents have imparted us or we just took on their spending ways. Perhaps, you learned through experience, which might have cost you a lot but it did make you wise.
If you are just an employee and you are receiving a monthly salary with the perk of receiving the annual summer bonus, teaching yourself how to spend carefully and judiciously your meager resource is the wisest option that you must take.
You can spend your summer bonus and make the best of it through the following tips:
T – Take time to appreciate your earning
H – Have a personal budget
A – Arrange your spending priorities
N – Never spend more than you earn
K – Keep track of your expenses
S – Select a simple lifestyle
Take time to appreciate your earning
You might perceive this as insignificant but taking time to appreciate your earning gives you the chance to reflect on the effort and sweat that you exerted to gain it. After getting your money, hold it firmly, thank the Divine Providence who made it possible for you to earn your keep.
Realizing the hardship that you went through to earn your wage, you will soon find the value of making every cent matter. Of course, don’t forget to give God’s part and your offering.
Have a personal budget
Contrary to somebody’s opinion that you only make a budget when you are receiving big amount, having a personal budget is very crucial when you are receiving small amount. A personal budget would surely safeguard your spending because you have determined the priority expenses. You must include some amount for savings.
Arrange your spending schedule
Rank your list of expenses according to priority. Always have payment in mind when making credit purchases. You will soon see that you are eliminating all your debts one by one. Update your spending schedule as soon as there are changes in your expenditures.
Never spend more than you earn
There is no other phrase to describe this than stating it this way, “spend less than you earn” or “live below your means”.
If you are satisfied with just “spending within your means”, you can never get out of the debt trap. You need to gain extra leverage to stay on top of your spending.
This would entail you to spend for your basic food only and postpone buying for your clothing and shelter.
While trying to increase your income differential, you may opt to prepare your own food and avoid eating outside at fast foods and restaurants.
You can cut your bills by cutting off your monthly cable TV subscription and budget for entertainment; carry out strictly your water and energy-saving practices.
Keep track of your expenses
Go through the intricacy of listing your expenses so that you will know when you are already on the red. Before spending your money, always check whether the item is in your priority list. Limit your going to the mall and grocery to just buying your needed household needs and if possible, always hunt for bargain or on sale goods.
Select a simple lifestyle
Living a simple lifestyle is a choice that will allow you to make a debt-free and financially independent life. Do not “keep up with the Joneses” as the expression goes, so that financial tragedy will not befall you. Instead of going on a buying spree, always live by the principle of “saving for the rainy day” so that you will have funds to spend when the “storm” comes.
In this period of financial crisis and scarcity of resources, the person who takes time to learn how to spend his or her income will definitely have an edge.
Spending your summer bonus and other financial resources with T.H.A.N.K.S. is one big step that you may take towards better financial position.
This post is dedicated to my former co-employees at Central Philippine University who are caught in the debt trap and trying to live from paycheck to paycheck. My heart goes to those whose ATM cards are swallowed by loan sharks. Maybe CPU could also put up a redemption fund and redeem your dignity from the bondage of debts. I grew up in a similar situation but everything changed when I started living with T.H.A.N.K.S…with God nothing is impossible.