An excerpt from?Recession Buster:?10 Steps to Managing your Household Budget,?which examines?10 simple steps to a structured way of dealing with the current recession and ?provides readers with useful financial management tools to assess how their household expenditure is utilized.
Responsibilities are a crucial factor of any individual belonging to the Diaspora anywhere in the world.
Responsibilities, really such a huge word with a huge dynamic!
Budgeting with various responsibilities at the back of the mind is very daunting. The type of daunting that makes an individual not to pick up calls from ?Back home?.
“What do they want”?
Life is hard abroad, yes, but it can be organized very systematically. How? Remember all those board games, you played when you where younger. Any games you played using pebbles or seeds, where you?had to put one in at a time into pots or holes until?you had as many pebbles or seeds collected and this had to be done consistently to win. Well, budgeting is quite like that!
As individuals living and working in the Diaspora, we tend to be bogged down by the bills we pay. Taking an in depth?look at how we utilize our finances and reduce the expenses we incur is the first step to maintaining budgeting success. Balancing our finances with our expenses as well as reducing the amount we spend helps in constantly addressing situations as they arise, like those ?Back home commitments?.
Due to the various responsibilities, as a community in Diaspora, it is necessary to add more categories to the regular essentials like (food, shelter and electricity bills). These secondary categories will include religious obligations, back home responsibilities (depending on the individual responsibilities), Ajoh, Susu etc (African saving scheme) and of course the weekend social commitments.
Identifying income streams, expenses and saving plans for your various commitments, enables us to plan long term, be assertive with our commitment plans and reduce debt.
Changing little things, such as using energy efficient light bulbs in the home can save money?on electricity bills. Other little things such as changing cable operators or watching your bank charges help in reducing?monthly charges.
Buying a home or car we can afford is another major bill in our household commitments. Living in the Diaspora does not mean that we need to lose sight of our goals and invest in a building or car, we cannot afford. Maintaining mortgage debt for 25 to 30 odd years and mortgage approvals of 250 thousand Euros are not the same thing!
Committing to an affordable goal requires consistent dedication, of putting money aside. It is essential that this is done on a regular basis as pre-emptive measures to off-set any bills that can be brought about from that dreaded call.
Tokie Laotan-Brown is the author of?Recession Buster:?10 Steps to Managing your Household Budget.?Born in Wurzburg, Germany to Nigerian parents,??Laotan-Brown is currently undertaking a joint Phd Program in Economics and Techniques for the Conservation of the Architectural and Environmental Heritage at the University of Nova Gorica and Universita Iuav di Venezia, Italy.?Tokie currently works as a property manager and as a consultant in the housing sector, as an environmental architectural technologist. With a background in Sustainable Construction and Architectural Technology, she hopes to travel extensively to Africa, Central and North America, and Central and Eastern Europe to study how environmentally sensitive homes and communities are affected during pre and post occupancy periods.