(Written on: 23rd January,2010)
QUESTION: Assalaamu Alaikum Sister. I am a regular visitor to your site and Alhamdulillah your advice works but only sometimes on my ‘sometimish’ baby. :p. I am a young mother of a ten month old baby and I am expecting another in July Inshaa Allah. My husband and I have been budgeting our money and we have been doing pretty well. We have some expenses coming so I (if it is ok with you) would like to know how you budget your finances to be able to save and have extra money for emergency spending and if you can give me a little idea or an example as to how to budget. [Savings Mummy, Friday 22nd January, 2010 7:08 PM)]
Wa Alaikumu Salaam,
I don’t know of any baby that isn’t ‘sometimish’:p
Sometimes certain things work, then circumstances change and other things tend to work better…which is why I always stress in my articles to have ‘many’ options in any given situation. Make sure there is always more than one or two ways to put your baby to sleep, know his ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’, give him many food preferences by introducing him to many different tastes… etc. Because when things like teething and illness start to happen, what once worked on your baby may not work during that time…so essentially, always have options Inshaa Allah..don’t give up….and continue to try different things…it’s just a matter of ‘cracking their code’ as they say. It may be frustrating at times but these are all tests of Allah(swt) and we must have patience inshaa Allah… If all else fails and you are still concerned, never hesitate to contact your pediatrician; that’s what they are there for.
With regards to the budgeting. This is essentially how my husband and I budget our finances:-
You do a spread sheet. It’s best you do this on a computer. You plot out the months of the year in columns. In the rows you have all your forms of income listed at the top and all your expenses going down. You total your income and total your expenses at the end of each month. You can put the maximum amount you would like to spend on each category per month and each month try to abide by the max limit. Only buy things in a category if you absolutely have to. But this would only be possible to average properly, if you just go through an entire month of spending and record your spending in the budget in detail, so that you will know what to cut-back on in the months to come.
When you see how much money you can save at the end of the month, you can either increase it or maintain it by cutting back on your spending as you now have a good idea of your spending habits. At the end, take this extra money and put it aside somewhere: a safe, a separate bank account(there are some accounts that do not add interest to your account if you request this). When this money is set aside you won’t be tempted to touch it. Do this at the end of every month and your savings for major expenses and future investments will just grow and grow…
Below is a general illustration/template of how to do this Inshaa Allah:-
Have Fun !!!