Budget- Entertainment (Part 2)

“It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep” – Robert Kiyosaki

01:00am Saturday morning, my phone beeps; “who could be texting me this early?” I ask. My first thought, could this be a “booty call?” Excited by the thought, I blush as I pick up my phone to check the text message.

To my disappointment, it is a notification from the bank to the value of M150.00 for drinks purchased at a local club. I am a little embarrassed that I am out this late, with such naughty thoughts; but after a long week of hard work I convince myself that I deserve a little “YOLO” (you live once ) moment.

As a continuation from Part 1, this moment in my life inspired the next part of the conversation about “budgeting”.

In the last piece, I highlighted that many of us are often dishonest about our monthly spending or commitments. We often understate the expenses we incur in hope that our financial status won’t be as gloomy as it actually is. Entertainment is one of the expenses we often understate in our monthly budgets. Many young professionals like myself, often have “YOLO” moments, where we go out for drinks with friends to catch up after a long week of work, have several breakfast catch-up or an occasional coffee sessions. This helps us in keeping in touch, nurturing friendships and dealing with the stresses of work, family and life. It’s often said that we need to find a work life balance, so these sessions are ABSOLUTELY necessary right? I cannot imagine life without that glass of wine after a long week of tight deadlines, but what is the cost of living so lavishly? What is my cost of entertainment?

This is the question that many of us never dare to ask!

My biggest challenge was admitting to myself that I enjoy going out for drinks, brunch and catch-up coffee sessions with friends. I would often spend money every weekend to finance these sessions without actually accounting for it. At times, I would get to the next payday with absolutely nothing left- not even M200.00 for petrol. It was easier for me to ignore this situation, because I was not ready to see just how much money I was spending on alcohol, eating out and these catch up sessions.

Having read an article in Destiny Man about managing your personal finances, I decide to start keeping all receipts from nights out, brunch sessions and coffee dates and calculating how much money I was spending monthly. I had to be honest with myself and accept that I need to budget for my entertainment. I also decided to open a transactional account (with low monthly fees and a debit card) specifically for my entertainment and transfer the allowance from my salary account to this account every month. This has helped me to manage my finances and entertainment better. I am now able to swipe the entertainment budget without feeling guilty or using funds meant for other commitments. I also know that when I’ve depleted funds from this account, it is time to stay home, read a book (which is what I should actually do more often) and sleep because I am broke.

I know many other young professionals who have no idea how much money they are spending on their entertainment. Worse still, is the high numbers who are not evening budgeting for this type of expense and continue to spend ignorantly. My challenge to you this month end is to start keeping receipts each time you go out, account and calculate how much you’ve spent, acknowledge and accept it. Then once you’ve established start including entertainment as budget item. Now that I’ve dealt with the disappointment of no “booty call”, I can safely go to bed knowing that I’ve spent only M150.00 this weekend and looking forward to many more lessons in part 3 of “budgeting”

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Budget- What Is That? (Part 1)

Budget- What Is That? (Part 1)

“It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep” – Robert

Budget- Savings (Part 3)

Budget- Savings (Part 3)

23:48pm at the MTN Bushfire festival in eSwatitini, waiting patiently for Kwesta

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