A word from the editor. Dear followers, on December 26th 2017 a mean hacker attack invalidated the entire Montecarlotimes’website. Today we are pleased to re-publish some of the most liked posts. Yours truly, Ilio Masprone – Knight of the Principality of Monaco for cultural merits, with the Team.
by Ilio Masprone MONACO. I have plenty of faith in our individual abilities to create wealth and prosperity. So, let’s celebrate Spring making a fresh start! The economic crisis is asking everybody, and young people especially, to save for a better future. Therefore, we probably need some way of determining where our money is going each month. Everybody HAS the power to alter his/her financial situation bit by bit. Other than winning the lottery the only way to create wealth is to spend less than we earn. Creating a budget with a template can help us feel more in control of our finances and let us save money for our goals. The trick is to figure out a way to track our finances that works for us. The first step in creating a budget is to identify our net income, subtracting deductions for Social Security, taxes, etcetera. Second, we will keep track of and categorize our spending so to know where we can make adjustments. Doing so will help us identify what we are spending the most money on and where it might be easiest to cut back. We must begin by listing all our fixed expenses. These are regular monthly bills such as rent or mortgage, utilities or car payments. It’s unlikely we’ll be able to cut back on these, but knowing how much of our monthly income they take up can be helpful. Next we will list the variable expenses. This is an area where we might find opportunities to cut back. Credit card and bank statements are a good place to start since they often itemize or categorize our monthly expenditures. Moreover, it is useful to record the daily spending with anything that’s handy—a pen and paper, an app or the smartphone.
Third, we must make a list of all the financial goals we want to accomplish in the short- and long-term. We must remember that our goals don’t have to be set in stone, but identifying your priorities before start planning a budget will help. We will start considering which of our expenses are adjustable downwards. To get rid of any of them altogether, we must take a hard look at them and stick to what we can afford. For instance, we may not be able to afford that particular cell phone contract or the luxury of a Sky Premium subscription! It’s all about good management, first above all shopping better. Then, planning meals and only buy perishables once or twice a week, will avoid impulse buys! Especially if we shop with a list and stick to it. If we examine our shopping list closely, we can detect as some items aren’t necessary and are exorbitantly priced – and decide that we can do without them. With our fixed expenses, we can predict fairly accurately how much we’ll have to budget for. Of course, using past spending habits will guide us when trying to predict your variable expenses. Using the variable and fixed expenses we compiled will help us get a sense of what we will spend in the coming months. Once all this done, we have what we need to complete our budget. Having documented our income and spending, we can start to see where we have money left over or where we can cut back so that to have money to put toward our goals. Lastly, if the numbers still aren’t adding up, you can look at adjusting your fixed expenses. Doing so will be much more difficult and require greater discipline, but on close inspection a “need” may just be a “hard to part with.” Such decisions come with big trade-offs, so we must carefully weigh our options. Small savings can add up to a lot of money, so we will not overlook the little stuff. We might be surprised at how much extra money we accumulate by making one minor adjustment at a time. It’s important to review our budget on a regular basis to be sure we are staying on track. Few elements of the budget are set in stone: we may get a raise, expenses may increase or we may have reached our goal and want to plan for a new one. Whatever the reason, keep checking in with your budget.