Weekender Bahrain, Sunday, August 25 2019

I’ve got money, and I’ll spend it. How does it concern others?

admin 22-Nov-2017

I’ve got money, and I’ll spend it. How does it concern others?

Dear Anita,
I wanted to know how can I create a little strict system around the house for everyone to follow; what I mean is we are one of those families that just love to spend extravagantly; we don’t really have a worry on how much every month goes.
I thought it was fine until I have family and friends pointing fingers and becoming very subjective and opinionated. I am finding it very hard to process this and I want people to let me make my own decisions, no matter how right or wrong they may be,
Please tell me if I am making sense or should I actually listen to what they have to say on budgeting right?

Dear B.K,
I think you have all the right to make your own decisions, especially when it comes to a subject of money that belongs to you. It must be really nice not to worry about how much you spend on all these pleasures that make your life more enjoyable: eating out, travelling, buying things for yourself and others.

What I imagine your family and friends are trying to tell you is that sometimes people who have tendency not to look at the prices, are actually overpaying in many cases or buying unnecessary items.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of strict budgeting, recording each and single purchase in a note pad. However, it is not a bad idea to have a closer look at our expenses from time to time in order to realise how much money we could have saved. There are many supermarkets and smaller shops in Bahrain and the prices might differ significantly, depending on the place. Also, many of them have special offers and all kinds of promotions that can be tracked by phone applications for example. It might seem like a hustle, but sometimes you might save even up to 5 or 10 BD per shopping! Provided you shop twice a week, that’s c.a 10 bd per week, 40 bd per month and 480bd annually! By doing such ‘audit’ in a family budget, you might regret you didn’t put this difference in a money saving box.
Another trap we often get caught into are all kids of sales. On the island where shopping is one of the most popular pastimes, the moment the sales are announced, it becomes more like a national competition. Everybody rushes to the malls to catch the best bargain. And on many occasions it’s great because we actually save some cash. On the other hand, we also buy and later collect things we actually don’t need and often never use! A lamp for 3bd that totally doesn’t match our home decor? Not required, but what a value! A beautiful handbag on a 50% discount, feel compelled to buy it, only to discover almost identical one on the bottom of our wardrobe (probably from the last year’s sale). A dress two sizes too small, but reduced from 70 to 55bd and might be a great incentive to lose the extra weight. Is that going to happen?
We can multiply the examples but the point that should be make here is: let’s get a habit of asking ourselves if we truly need these things! Otherwise we are just cluttering our personal space. Saw this funny picture online the other day, it said: ‘Save up to 100% when you don’t buy anything on sale!’ Worth considering:) The fact you don’t need to count how much you spend doesn’t mean you can’t make an effort and do it. This way you’ll see where you could save and donate the difference for those in need. Next time you go to the mall to buy another pair of shoes (just because they are pretty), refrain yourself. Open a saving account and put this money in it. You never know what life brings on you, maybe one day this money will save health or life of someone dear to you. Of course these are just the ideas, something to consider and think about. It’s up to you what you’ll do with your conclusions.