The one day that every working man or woman waits for every month is the salary day. And the relief one experiences on receiving the salary is as good as the joy one feels on getting a long weekend. But there is a catch. Just like the weekend comes to an end too soon — which is what most of us feel — this relief also doesn't last for long.
If you're a working woman living away from home and you are struggling to manage your finances, then remember, you are not alone.
It's a task to handle your responsibilities, such as paying the domestic help, the electricity bill, the rent, grocery bill, your commute to work and at the same time, enjoying your weekends with the salary you get.
Being a spendthrift myself, managing finances till the end of the month is not always easy. Sometimes, I hear my bank account crying.
So, this is what I have started doing to avoid such a situation.
As soon as I get my salary, the first thing I do is to move a part of it in to my savings account. This helps if you ever need some amount of money to fall back on. If you do not need it, the money can help you buy something that you have had your eyes for sometime in the future. After all, savings are for spending, right?
After putting it in the savings account, I get done with the responsibilities. First and foremost, the rent. After the rent, the electricity bill, the WiFi bill and paying the domestic help. Now, with whatever I have left, I prepare my budget.
I keep aside a sum of money for commuting to work, for grocery, for personal expenses and for the weekends. If you get cabs from your office, you're lucky! If I had that option, I would have saved some money for shopping splurge over the weekend.
But, if you take the public transport to work like me, then you would know that you have to pay a certain amount every day. Since I live in Mumbai, I take the train to work. I use the monthly pass, so I keep aside the pass fare from my salary.
Apart from the pass, I also have to take an auto to the station from home, which is an everyday expenditure. Although the auto fare varies depending on the traffic, you get a rough idea after within a few days. I avoid taking cabs because it can turn out to be expensive.
Next, groceries. Since we do not have a cook, my roommates and I get the groceries for a week and split it by three. We try not wasting it and it helps if you know what you want to cook and only get how much is required. It's okay not to get extra, you can always go out and get it if you run out of something in the kitchen.
Under personal expenses, I keep aside a fixed amount for grooming (it is a monthly expenditure) and for toiletries and medicines. Thankfully, for toiletries and medicines, it is not a weekly expenditure and most times, it can last for at least a month. It helps if you go to huge retail shops and get the saver packs for shampoos, conditioners, soap, among others. Those toiletries can last at least for three-four months.
Next, weekends. This is the trickiest. The four weekends that come in the month can really make or break your budget. Out of the four weekends, I go out on either Saturday or Sunday, not on both days and chooses places that are budget-friendly.
And because I know that I have a tendency to end up shopping at the weekend, I keep aside some money for it. I really need a retail therapy. On other days, I just control myself and divert my mind by watching something online or read a book or pamper myself with a hot shower or even cook my favourite dishes. Maybe you could try that too.
If weekends break your budget, don't panic. You can always do what I do — sleep and take a breather, because, hey, I have already paid the electricity bill so why not make use of it? Honestly, I hope that does not become a habit.
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