Monday, May 06, 2019

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: Money Edition

     What’s the immediate thing you do to your money the moment you receive it? Pay bills? Pamper yourself? Hangout with friends and drink all night until you reach sunrise? Don’t feel guilty if you’re doing any of these. All three mentioned habits are acceptable as long as you have the money to spend (only spend what you have). 

     If the last statement made you smile as if you’ve just earned a validation, then maybe you’re good at managing your hard-earned money (having a high salary can also be a factor). But if that last statement gave you guilt, then maybe you’re already spending beyond what you are earning that led you to debts. Overspending is already a sign that you’re not good at managing your hard-earned money or... do you even manage your money at all?

     Know that hard-earned money should be divided into three components: your needs, your wants, and your savings. Now, how do you determine which is which? How will you know if your budget allocation for your needs, wants, and savings are just right? Allow me to discuss all three components using the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe.
     The lion represents your needs. The ability to move forward, navigate, and survive until you reach your next payday is a concern for “needs”. Just like the lion, needs should also be tamed and be taken care of especially if your goal is to survive in the midst of the wilderness. Identifying your needs means remembering man’s basic needs - food, water, shelter, and clothing - as defined by Maslow. Yes, you need food and water.  These allow you to live on a day-to-day basis. Shelter can be in a form of housing rental, realty tax (if you own the house), and utility bills. In the case of clothing, not all clothes you buy can really be a need. You only have to have [enough] clothes for casual, for corporate, and for very important events/social gatherings. Clothes beyond these functions shall be classified under “wants”. Don’t forget to include transportation costs. It is also a need. You can’t go to work without it (unless you’re residing near your workplace in which walking is enough or you’re a work-at-home person). Medicine and supplements are also under this component for it gives your body the ability to live life to the fullest. Remember to allot fifty percent (50%) of your earned money for your needs.

     The witch represents your wants. Wants are intimidating and deceptive. Just like the witch, wants operate best on perceptions. The significance or importance of an item can be confusing most of the time. Wants normally convince you in buying things you thought you can’t live without. But the truth is that you can [still] go on and live a normal day even without the presence of such items. You either buy those things just to intimidate, to show off, or to fuel your ego. But of course, having the need for “wants” can also be a case-to-case basis. Wants can also be used as self-rewards. It can be your tool in  providing self-satisfaction and quick-relief from acquiring too much stress. Pampering or treating yourself for accomplishing a milestone or doing good at work are acceptable reasons. Catching up with friends in order to rekindle relationships and to create an outlet for releasing loads of stress are also acceptable reasons. Allot thirty percent (30%) of your earned money for your wants. Having an allotment lesser than your “needs” means you only use this [occasionally] and not frequently.

     The wardrobe represents your savings. Savings let you go [beyond]. Just like the wardrobe, savings  serve as your vessel in traveling great distance. You may want to go for a short ride, long ride, or much longer ride. It really depends on how far you’re willing to go. This component requires tremendous amount of discipline, patience, and emotion. Discipline means doing a strict financial routine, patience means being able to wait for a particular period of time (short-term, medium-term, long-term), and emotion means being emotionally ready to whatever surprises arise from the path you’re trekking. This component relies heavily on your present state and is very useful to your future state. With this, be sure to allot your remaining twenty percent (20%) to your savings. Trust me, savings will take you far.
     Now that you’re familiar with needs, wants, and savings, it’s about time for you to manage your fund. Create a budget allocation out of your hard-earned money only; observe proper allocation for each component; and avoid overspending.

Image Sources:
The Lion, the Witch, and the wardrobe
Budget Allocation Chart

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