Spotlight: Have a budget before you buy

Some people take their budget for granted, others take a judicious approach when it comes to spending. The fact is, there are a few people who adhere to a budget. A study prepared in 2019 by the Board of Standards of the Certified Financial Planner said that 60 per cent of individuals admit that they do not stick to their expenditures. It also stated that two out of every five people have never budgeted their income, and even those who said they have a monthly budget, they do not have a real one.

financial balance
There is no doubt that income planning does not mean stinting, rather a financial balance, as the family that plans its lifestyle, achieves its goals. Therefore, a proper spending regime should be followed.
Hamda Saeed al Shamsi, a Financial Advisor and journalist says, “to have a financial budget for the family is important to avoid many problems and pressures. Unlike the individual budget, the family budget is usually more comprehensive and complex, because it covers many things such as educational costs of children, personal requirements of each one of them, houseware, food, vehicles requirements, etc.”
Al Shamsi mentioned that it is also important for family members to participate in a discussion related to financial planning because this makes them feel reassured. If the children are exposed to random incomplete messages about the family’s financial situation, through skirmishes, for example between parents, they will sense fear, insecurity, and guilt because they would believe that they are the reason for the conflict. This distorted relationship translates into excessive miserliness, excessive waste, or poverty in the future because this individual is unable to deal with money as a gain, spending, or savings.

financial crises
The most important precaution that Mohammed al Mafraji, an employee, adheres to avoid financial crises, is to allocate a specific amount of money to the household expenses.
He indicated “from the beginning of every month, I make sure to allocate a specific amount for the household expenses, including food, entertainment, and others. I commit to it except in cases of extreme necessity. But if there is a surplus, I transfer it to the next month.”
He also explained that annual obligations, such as rent, instalments for children’s schools, the car, come as a priority because they are never subject to any change.
Regarding the challenges facing Muhammad in terms of budget control, he noted that the head of the family finds himself confused between meeting the demands of his children and adhering to the budget prepared in advance.
“To face this challenge I raised a slogan to my children – A man does not attain all his heart’s desires, for the winds do not blow as the vessels wish. There is no doubt that the conversations between me and their mother about the budget contributed greatly to their understanding, so they learned that meeting their requests is according to what the budget permits only.”
Muna al Mukhaini, a mother and employee, indicated: “As soon as I go shopping, I try to ignore sales and discount advertisements, but under intense advertisement pressure, the budget plan quickly collapses.”
However, Muna affirmed that this was past and she found the right solution to her problem in controlling the budget.

credit card
“Now I carry cash as much as needed to buy the specific item for which I went out shopping with a small increase in emergencies. I now also leave the credit card at home and don’t carry it with me. I collect the sums left with me after shopping in a small piggy bank. My budget has recovered dramatically,” she cheered.
She added, “With the high prices, demands of children, and temptations, it becomes difficult for any housewife to set a budget and stick to it without violating it. And since my husband has experience in these matters, he is the most capable of managing the budget.”
Maram al Balushi does not deny the wife’s role in maintaining the budget plan. She said, “By being the house lord and knowing all its details and needs, the wife has a great role in managing matters economically, away from extravagance. She assists her husband in choosing the available purchase deals and offers, as well as moving away from buying what is not needed.”