In a survey done in 2008, only about 28% of Malaysians have a monthly budget. Either you are extremely rich that you cannot be bothered to keep track of your money or you do not have any money or income to keep track of in the first place, you have no desire whatsoever to do it. However most of us fall somewhere in the middle rung, meaning we are not so rich as to completely disregard where our money is going.

People normally make excuses when it comes to doing a budget planner. The work is tedious, it is a useless exercise, my income is too small, etc. They start to complain even before they attempt to do it. The bad thing is you also hear them lament “I don’t know where my money went!” or something similar. You hear this complain often enough even from people who earn a decent income.

Well, to this people, they better listen up. This is where a budget planner becomes handy and useful. A budget planner helps you plan your day to day expenses. The fact is everyone spends money daily such as when you buy food, when you make a call, when you switch on the fan, etc.

Having a budget planner helps in the following ways:

  • It shows your spending pattern. Maybe you have been spending 20 percent of your income on the lottery and you did not realize it yet.
  • Assist you in doing proper allocation of your money. For example, 10 percent on food, 15 percent on savings, 10 percent on debt repayment, etc.
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  • It stops you from spending money you do not have. Who knows, maybe you have been trying to live a RM100,000 lifestyle on a RM50,000 annual income.
  • Assist you in your debt-repayment plan.
  • Assist you in achieving your financial goals faster.
  • A budget planner is really an important part of your financial planning. You cannot simply say you want to save 20 percent of your income when you do not have the amount to save in the first place. If you want to know whether you have or not, start to plan now. Go to the internet and type in “budget planner” or “free budget software” and you will get free samples of it.

    Basically, you will be tracking your monthly income, your day to day spending, your big expenses (e.g. loans, utility bills, insurance, tax, etc.) and knowing your balance at the end of the month, positive or negative cashflow. Once you do this and keep doing it as part of your financial planning, you stop asking the question “Where did all my money go?”

    Read other articles by Jacquelyn at WParent.com on parenting matters and Tips4Everyone.com on solving marriage problems.


      7 replies to "The Importance of a Budget Planner"

      • financedree

        Some tiny tips. Bring 555 notebook to take note all small expenses that you have day by day. You will be surprise that with the power of 555 notebook.

      • […] Thanks for taking part in the last survey. I’ve received encouraging responses from you. The initial result shows that one in every two income-earning adults tracks their spending. Most of these people have a budget plan. […]

      • Sayeed

        Totally agree. My life turn 360 after starting a budget planner 6 years ago!! Instead of the money controlling me and what is left at the end of the month…now it is i want at the end of the month is outlined.

      • Nasrul Hanis

        Agree, without budget planner we cannot track how much we spend and save per month or per week and as the result we can’t plan for the future.

        Some people might have started the budget planner but do it the wrong way and stop doing it. I guess a systematic budget planner could help a lot – not only writing and calculating our budget but also motivates us to plan wisely on our finance matters.

      • cijay

        Budgeting in reality doesn’t work most of the time, that’s is why the account work it backwards. It is easier if you take out part of your salary every month and put it somewhere you cannot touch easily…… well call it “forced savings”… they work!

      • Chels

        yes I agree too. For me, it’s more of “how to get there”. At the beginning of the year, everyone should have a savings target/debt repayment plan. By preparing a budget, you can guide yourself how to get there.

      • Lai Seng Choy

        To me, a budget can be considered as a cash flow planning. It is not only showing you where to go, but also how to get there. Just like a guiding star. It is the most important part of your master financial blueprint. When you know you are working according to your budget, you are actually creating a peaceful mind as you know you are on your way towards your financial success.

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