Home Office


With the announcement of the 21-day lockdown in South Africa, which started at midnight the 26th of March 2020, as well as the accepted practise of social distancing and self-isolation, more and more of us are now working from home. 

And let’s be honest – working from home is something many of us have been wanting to chat to our bosses about implementing more regularly. But working from home during a global pandemic can have a bit of a strange and uneasy feeling to it. 

Some of us are more productive when we work from home. And others? Not so much. And that’s okay. But at the end of the day, your boss (even if you are your own boss) expects you to get the work done. It might feel like the world is coming to a screeching halt, but that doesn’t mean that deadlines don’t exist. 

When you’re at work (at the office office), then your coworkers are likely to pose the greatest threat to interrupting your work. They might drop by your desk for a chat, invite you to lunch or even just frustrate you with their annoying desire to always spread the office gossip (I mean, no one really cares that Karen’s shoes don’t match her blouse, Judy). 

At your home office, you pretty much become your own worst enemy. That’s because your home is loaded with distractions. And, this one is kinda obvious, no one is watching or micromanaging you. Oh, and also, you don’t have to wear pants. 

That’s why we have put together a bunch of effective and simple tips to make working from home productive. 

1. Replace the time spent sitting in traffic with exercise

Your morning commute no longer exists – hooray! But that doesn’t mean you should spend that extra hour or so hitting snooze and tangled under the covers. Even if it is really cosy. 

Many freelancers and entrepreneurs have said that starting their day with some exercise helps their mind and body align to the day ahead. Exercise will leave you feeling energised, get the blood flowing and help you to focus throughout the day. 

When you wake up, go for a walk, put on a yoga YouTube video – click on the link to check out some of our favourites, or burn some calories with an at-home workout routine – no matter what you do, just make sure you get moving. 

2. Shower and get out of your PJs

It’s hard to get into work-mode when your outfit screams “bed mode.” 

We’re not saying you have to put on a suit and tie, or a pencil skirt and stilettos, but having a shower to freshen up and getting changed into clothes that aren’t your track pants and oversized hoodie is a great way to get your head in the game and start your day. 

After you are all fresh and clean, have a nutritious breakfast to kickstart your day and keep your mind focused on the task at hand. These Berry Overnight Oats are a great option to try!

3. Create a dedicated workspace

Now is the time to clear out some space in your house to create a dedicated working area. Instead of copping yourself up on your bed or on the couch, clearly differentiate between spaces of leisure and work in your house. This will help you to get into the right frame of mind. 

4. Turn off your social media notifications

Make it hard for yourself to get distracted by social media. Turn off your notifications for Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms on your phone. Close all social media tabs open on your computer. 

5. Work when you are the most productive 

Figure out what hours you are most productive and create your work schedule around those times. Some people are more productive in the early hours of the morning or in the evening. Others might prefer to work during regular working hours (8 to 5 sort of thing) to stick to their accustomed routine. Find out what works for you and create your workload to fit into those productive hours. 

Expert tip: You can use your slower points of the day to get cracking on easier and possibly more logistical tasks and keep your more complicated work for when you are firing on all cylinders. 

Home Office

6. Create a to-do list at the end of every day for the following day

Before you finally call it a day, create a to-do list of what you need to get done the following day. Make use of digital project management systems like Monday (a super simple project management tool). 

7. Create playlists for certain tasks

Listen to music that matches the energy of your projects. For example, video game soundtracks are lyric-free and can help you focus on your work. 

Another great example (and one of our personal favourites) is lo-fi hip hop. Take a look at some other examples here

8. Meal prep 

There’s nothing more distracting than trying to find something to eat in a fridge that seems pretty bare. It’s a good idea to prep your meals for the week to minimise time spent in the kitchen when you could be getting important work tasks done. Plus, meal prepping will also help you ensure you stick to a healthy eating plan. 

9. Take regular breaks

It’s easy to get sucked into your work and forget to take breaks. This will undoubtedly lead to burnout. Some experts suggest setting a timer on your phone for every 50 minutes. When the timer goes off, get up from your desk, close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths. 

You can also use your breaks to complete a chore around the house, go for a walk (if you can leave your home) or even squeeze in a quick 10-minute yoga workout. 

10. Focus on one task at a time

Multitasking is not going to help you get your work done. The more you attempt to complete various tasks in parallel, the more energy you have to invest in just tracking your task and keeping things in order. When you focus on one task at a time, you can then redirect your mental and physical energy on being more productive. 

Follow these top tips to get your work done effectively while working from home! 

Save save save


Debt is scary. It’s as simple as that. When you first get your credit card or when you start buying things on credit, it can be easy for it to snowball until you’re in debt that you’re not sure you can get out of. 

Many of us have been there but it’s not all doom and gloom! There is always a way out of debt and it’s important to nip it in the bud before it escalates to a point of no control. Managing money isn’t an easy task and there’s no shame in finding yourself in some debt (it’s probably happened to more people than you know). 

But let’s see how you can get out of your sticky situation as fast as possible. 

7 ways to get out of debt quickly 

1. Figure out how much debt you’re in

As a first step, you’ll want to list all of the debts you owe from smallest to largest. 

This will put into perspective how much you owe and you can figure out a plan on how to pay it all back. 

2. Start planning how you’re going to pay it back

Start with the smallest balance and throw in any available money you have at this amount while you begin making the minimum payments on all your larger loans. Once the smallest balance is paid off, start putting that extra money toward the next smallest debt until you pay that one off, and so on. 

Keep going until all your small debts are covered and you’re making your way through the bigger ones. 

This is just one effective way of settling your debt, you need to figure out what will work for you.  

3. Pay more than the minimum payment on your credit card

Credit cards are simultaneously the best and the worst. As you move your way out of debt, make sure you’re paying more than the minimum requirement. As you pay more each month, you will stop creating big amounts of debt that will keep you starting this process over and over. 

Save save save4. Pick a side hustle

If you find that you’re struggling to find your way out of debt with the income you have, find a side job that can earn you some extra cash that’s solely devoted to paying off your debt. Find a job that’s easy to manage part-time or use a special talent you have to earn some extra money. 

5. Create (and live with) a bare-bones budget

Create a realistic budget and list all of your expenses and your income. This budget needs to have no unnecessary expenses and needs to list only the necessities. 

This will be a difficult budget but it will help you to have all the cash you can to pay off those debts and then you can start buying your morning cappuccino again. 

6. Drop expensive habits

This is similar to tip 5, you’re going to have to go without getting in that spa treatment for a while or it might be time to drop the gym contract and aim for some exercises you can do at home. Another tip is to meal prep more of your meals at home and try to cut back on restaurant meals. Check out some healthy meal ideas here.  

These are always habits you can pick up again but until you’re debt-free, you can do without them (you’ll survive, we promise). 

7. Save save save 

Whenever you find some spare change, save it! Any extra money you have in a month, keep it to pay off your debt or keep it for a rainy day. 

Once your debt is clear, you can use your savings to make up for any shortfall you might encounter in upcoming months to keep you out of falling into debt again!

Growing up means figuring things out and often by doing that, we land ourselves into a little bit of trouble. It’s normal though, we’ve all experienced some sort of debt at some point in time but that important thing is how you manage it. With these little tips and with a solid budget, you’ll be managing your money like a pro in no time!

19 ways to protect yourself

Coronavirus Survival Kit

COVID-19 may stop you from going to the gym and eating out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still work out and eat right. 

Which is why we have packed this kit with at-home workouts you can do from the comfort of your living room, as well as immune-boosting recipes that are simple, delicious and full of all the right nutrients your body needs to fight off infection. 

Hit download and get your mind and body in tip-top shape to stay healthy and happy amidst the pandemic.

Download Your WellBe Coronavirus Survival Guide Here


Everyone is talking about the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, and with so much information circulating around the virus, it’s difficult to differentiate between the facts, sensible precautions, overreaction and misinformation. If you are looking for expert advice, then the WHO (the World Health Organisation) is a reputable source for updates and information.

Declared a pandemic, many are claiming that the media is causing an infodemic. Whilst the majority of cases are mild, governments are aiming to slow down the spread of the disease to prevent healthcare systems being overrun with severe cases. In this blog, we outline what you need to know about the virus. 

What is a coronavirus?

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), describes the coronavirus as a type of virus that causes symptoms of the upper respiratory system, these include coughing, a sore throat and runny nose –  much like the symptoms associated with the common cold. In some cases, coronaviruses can cause more severe symptoms like issues with breathing, illnesses of the lower respiratory system like pneumonia or bronchitis, and in extreme cases, even death. 

In early January this year, China and the WHO confirmed the identification of a new coronavirus. This new virus stems from several cases of pneumonia identified in Wuhan, a city in the Chinese province of Hubei, on December 31, 2019.

Interesting fact – WHO officially named the illness COVID-19. This name is short for coronavirus disease, with the “19” pertaining to 2019, the year the virus was first identified. The official name of the virus is Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, also known as SARS-CoV-2.

Don’t panic 

Of course, with widespread media coverage, a state of the nation address in South Africa announcing the closing of schools and many public events being cancelled, it’s natural for the public to start to panic, but before you hit a flat spin and panic buy everything at your local grocery store in preparation for a doomsday situation, take a step back and take a deep breath – There is no need to panic. 

To help prevent the panic and the spread of the disease, we have put together 19 facts and easy-to-follow steps for you to try and help stay safe and sane.

COVID-19: 19 ways to protect yourself and stay healthy

Get your facts straight

Don’t believe everything you read, you need to make sure you only get advice from reputable sources such as WHO or CDC

Here are some fast facts on the virus: 

  1. According to the South African Government website for the coronavirus, as many as 82% of COVID-19 cases are mild, which means that patients only experience a slight fever, fatigue and cough. 
  2. Only about 6% of patients with the virus need intensive care. 
  3. The vast majority of people can stay at home, self-isolate and get better without any need for hospital treatment. 
  4. Those most at risk of infection include: 
    • Travellers to areas where there is ongoing sustained transmission of COVID-19 including Mainland China (all provinces), Hong Kong, Japan, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, Taiwan, Italy and the Islamic Republic of Iran. 
    • Elderly, individuals with co-morbidities and healthcare workers

Know how the virus spreads

  1. Experts are working on a vaccine to prevent the spread of the virus, however, there is currently no vaccine.
  2. The virus is spread through respiratory droplets from an infected person when they cough or sneeze.
    • These droplets can land on the noses or mouths or people nearby or are possibly inhaled through the lungs 
    • Droplets can also land on surfaces which can infect another person who touches the same surface and then touches their mouth, eyes or nose

A fascinating fact from WHO

“Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).”

Know the signs & symptoms

  1. Know what the symptoms of the virus are (Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure)
    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
    • Sore throat 
  2. Emergency symptoms include (according to CDC): 
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face

Practice personal hygiene techniques

What is a coronavirus

Here’s how to protect yourself from the virus: 

  1. Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (especially after being in a public place, coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose).
    • If you do not have access to soap and water, then use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Use this sanitizer to cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until dry. 
  2. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or flexed elbow (then immediately dispose of the tissue)
  3. Avoid touching your face (especially with unwashed hands). 
  4. Avoid close contact with people who are sick or have recently gotten back from a high-risk area from mid-February 2020
  5. Practise social distancing – do not shake hands or hug other people 
  6. Do not share food and utensils
  7. Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces (your phone is especially dirty)

Boost your immune system

Of course, you can wash your hands and practise all the safe practises in an attempt to try and avoid the virus, but your immune system, which is your body’s own natural system of defence against invading pathogens, is an incredibly effective way to prevent infection. And here’s how: 

  1. Regular exercise – you might be avoiding the gym, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a workout in. Check out this at-home full-body workout
  2. Take daily supplements and vitamins – Vitamin C, B6 and E will help boost immunity and fight off infection. 
  3. Eat well – a strong body comes from healthy and nutritious food. We have a ton of recipes available on our website, check them out here (Oh, and did we mention there’s dessert too?)

Know what to do if you are sick

Important to know: Call your doctor if you think you have been exposed to coronavirus and are developing fever and symptoms. Experts advise that you call ahead before visiting your doctor to prevent the spread of the infection. 

If you have recently travelled from a high-risk area, then you should self-isolate for 14 days. 

Take a look at this guide on how to self-quarantine.

  1. If you have mild symptoms, you should also self-isolate: 
    • Do not go to work, public areas or school 
    • Avoid public transport
    • Stay in a separate room and use a different bathroom if you live in a home with other people 

Stay informed, stay healthy and don’t panic! 



What is self-image?

Self-image is more than what you see when you look in the mirror. It is defined as “the idea, the conception, or mental image one has of oneself.”

Your self-image is how you view your entire being, from your thoughts, feelings, actions and capabilities. 

Is self-image the same as self-esteem?

Not entirely. The two concepts of the ‘self’ are somewhat different. 

Self-esteem tends to go a little deeper than self-image. Self-esteem is your overall sense of respect for yourself. 

Your self-image plays a role in your self-esteem – after all, how you see yourself significantly impacts how you feel about yourself. 

Interesting fact

Your self-image is based on your own unique perceptions of reality that is built over a lifetime, these perceptions will continue to change as you learn and go through life. 

The dimensions of self-image

Suzaan Oltmann, an independent distributor at one of South Africa’s FET Colleges, defines the dimensions of self-image as follows: 

The three elements of a person’s self-image are:

  1. The way a person perceives or thinks of him/herself.
  2. The way a person interprets others’ perceptions (or what he thinks others think) of him/herself.
  3. The way a person would like to be (his ideal self).

The six dimensions of a person’s self-image are:

  1. Physical dimension: how a person evaluates his or her appearance
  2. Psychological dimension: how a person evaluates his or her personality
  3. Intellectual dimension: how a person evaluates his or her intelligence
  4. Skills dimension: how a person evaluates his or her social and technical skills
  5. Moral dimension: how a person evaluates his or her values and principles
  6. Sexual dimension: how a person feels he or she fits into society’s masculine/feminine norms 

(Oltmann, 2014)

Why self-image is important

Your self-image can play a significant role in your success and motivation throughout your life. Having a low self-image can lead to failure and missed opportunities as you doubt your capabilities. 

A healthy self-image can help you to achieve great things as you navigate through life with an assertive and positive attitude, believing in yourself to accomplish your goals. 

Self-talk and self-image

Our self-image stems from our thoughts which influence the way in which we view ourselves. Self-talk is the conversation you have with yourself. 

Our thoughts, or the way that we talk to ourselves, are typically a combination of negative and positive thoughts. 

We all have an inner critic. This inner voice can often drive us to reach our goals (for example, when we remind ourselves not to eat something unhealthy). However, this inner voice can sometimes do more harm than good. 

The impact of negative self-talk on your brain and body

The neurophysiology of negative self-talk 


Negative thoughts indicate to our brains and bodies that we are going through a period of stress. 

This results in the increased release of catecholamines (neurotransmitters released during stress) such as norepinephrine, epinephrine and dopamine. 

Prolonged exposure to these hormones can create negative psychological and physical outcomes and create a negative feedback loop. 

When your inner voice is always negative, this can prolong the stress hormone exposure which can physically rewire your brain and in turn, your mental and physical wellbeing, this is known as neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to change throughout your life).

The negative feedback loop 

Prolonged exposure to catecholamines can create negative psychological and physical outcomes. The prolonged-release of these neurotransmitters can affect your mood and create a negative feedback loop between your physiology and emotions. 

These changes may result in chronic inflammation of your organs and the way the body and mind operates – leading to changes in behaviour, sleep issues, metabolic (weight gain) and cardiovascular disturbances.

How negative thoughts impact your health

Negative thoughts can lead to chronic stress, upsetting your body’s natural hormonal balance. 

Chronic stress can deplete the brain of the chemicals it needs to feel happy, as well as damage your immune system.

It can also lead to decreased lifespan, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, infection and digestive disorders. 

Interesting factScience has now identified that stress shortens our telomeres, the “end caps” of our DNA strands, which causes us to age more quickly

The impact of positive self-talk on the brain and body

The neurophysiology effects of positive self-talk 

As we know, our minds are malleable. Meaning our self-talk and self-image has the potential to mould and sculpt our consciousness and our physical wellbeing. 

Source: “Because of all the research and clinical testing being done and studied regarding the “mind-body” connection, the power of positive thinking is gaining documented scientific credibility and being used and harnessed to improve health on all levels.

What flows through your mind (thoughts and neurotransmitters) sculpts your brain in permanent ways.

Source “What we think and what we feel has the potential to directly affect our bodies.”

Studies have shown that thoughts alone can improve vision, fitness, and strength.

Some other positive effects of positive thinking include: 

  • Faster recovery from cardiovascular stress
  • Better sleep 
  • Stronger immune system (fewer colds)
  • Greater sense of purpose and overall happiness
  • Greater sense of connection to others

How to break the negative feedback loop & improve your self-image

As humans, we are hard-wired to focus on the negative in an attempt to survive, helping us to stay vigilant in a somewhat stressful environment. This leads to something known as a ‘negativity bias’. 

“Our “negativity bias” means that we spend too much time ruminating over the minor frustrations we experience—bad traffic or a disagreement with a loved one— and ignore the many chances we have to experience wonder, awe, and gratitude throughout the day.”

Some tips to offset the negative feedback loop and negativity bias

  1. Be present – Pay attention to your sense perceptions as a mindfulness technique (what is your hand doing right now, why is your foot tapping?)
  2. Stop your thoughts from running away – Become aware of your thoughts without turning them into a runaway train – “What am I thinking? What is the conversation in my head?” Repeat this a few times.
  3. Challenge negative thoughts – This will reduce their emotional intensity and feelings of stress and panic. So ask yourself “Is that thought really true, right now in this moment? What is the likelihood of that really happening?”
  4. Control the next thought – You can’t control a negative thought from popping up, but you can replace it with 3 positive ones. 

Practical examples of positive self-image activities


A positive self-image takes hard work and commitment. It’s an ongoing journey to improve your mental and physical wellbeing. You need to stick to it and keep going through the bad days and the good ones. 

Helpful hint – Many people will stop effective practices such as yoga, meditation or deep breathing when they feel their self-image and thinking have improved. The trick is to always keep going because you never know when something might happen to trigger negative emotions and send you back into the negative feedback loop. 

1. Journalling

Journal your thoughts, your experiences and whether you feel like you dealt with them in a positive way. Take notes and notice trends in the ways that you talk to yourself. 

2. Identifying triggers of negative thinking and stress

Recognise what people, places and things lead to negative emotions and thinking. 

You cannot change certain situations, but you can change how you react to them and prepare yourself to handle them better. 

Come up with strategies as to how you will better deal with your triggers.

3. Meditation

Your self-image can become a habit when you practice loving yourself on a daily basis. 

4. Deep breathing

This can be an incredibly simple yet effective technique to change your thought patterns. When you notice a negative thought, you feel stressed or anxious, simply take 5 to 10 deep breaths. Breathe in for 4 counts and out for 5. Repeat this. 

5. Self-appreciation breaks

Take a deep breath, slow down and ask yourself this important question: what are 3 things I can appreciate about myself?

These can even be little things like personality traits or strengths. You can do this every morning or every evening. 

6. Yoga

Yoga makes use of deep breathing and calming and fluid movements that can help lower your stress.

7. Mindfulness

Practise being mindful of your thoughts, your space, your senses and the present moment. 

Source: “Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment.”

8. Mantras

Mantras are commonly used in meditation and can have some powerful effects on your self-image. By saying a positive self-esteem mantra throughout your day, this will aid in rewiring your negative feedback loop. 

Here are some examples: 

  • I embrace my happy feelings and enjoy being content as I love and appreciate myself.
  • I deserve to be happy and feel good every day about all areas in my life.
  • I feel secure in who I am, and do not need to compare myself to others.

You can permanently rewire your subconscious mind to accept these affirmations.

Over-night oats

Berry Over-night Oats

Mornings can be such a rush! Beat the clock by preparing your breakfast the night before with this delicious recipe!


  • ½ cup oats
  • 1 tablespoon Chia seeds (optional)
  • ½ cup milk of your choice
  • ½ cup Greek yoghurt
  • Fruit – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries (anything you love!)
  • Nut butter of your choice


Tip: for an additional little sweetness, you can add some honey!


  1. Start by combining rolled oats with your favourite milk, chia seeds and Greek yoghurt in a mason jar or a resealable container. 
  2. Add a few blueberries and nut butter and mix to combine.
  3. Seal up the container and park it in the fridge overnight.
  4. The next morning, you can heat the glass jar up in the microwave for a hot breakfast or enjoy your overnight oats cold straight from the fridge. 
  5. You can add more milk if you’d like.
  6. Add the rest of berries as toppings and enjoy!

Download this yummy recipe here


Oat Balls

Oat and Date Balls

Oat and date balls are a quick, on the go snack. Make them ahead of time and keep them around to pop in your mouth when you’re a little peckish!


  • 1 cup dates
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter


  1. Place dates in a pot of water and bring to the boil.
  2. Drain the dates and put the liquid into a container and set aside for later.
  3. Place drained dates, coconut, peanut butter, oats and cacao powder in a food processor or a blender.
  4. Place the mixture into a bowl.
  5. Slowly add roughly 1/4 of the date liquid to the mix (you may need a little more liquid than this, add it slowly until the mix holds its shape. If you accidentally add too much liquid add a little more of the other dry ingredients to balance).
  6. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together.
  7. Roll mixture into 12 balls and store in the fridge or freezer.
  8. Roll in extra coconut if desired.
  9. Make extra and freeze them for a last-minute snack
  10. This recipe makes 12 balls.

Download this yummy recipe here

Chicken Bowl


You’ve heard of chicken soup for the soul, well you have to try our chicken bowl for the soul! A hearty and nutritious meal, perfect for lunch or dinner!


Serves 4

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 bell peppers, any colour, sliced
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chicken seasoning
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 jar tomato pasta sauce
  • 3 cups brown rice (680 g), cooked
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese (100 g)


  1. Preheat oven to 200˚C.
  2. Line a baking tray with foil.
  3. Place the chicken, peppers, and onions onto the baking tray and drizzle with oil.
  4. Sprinkle the chicken seasoning evenly over both sides of the chicken breasts.
  5. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the bell peppers and onions, tossing to coat.
  6. Top each chicken breast with a generous pour of tomato pasta sauce.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes.
  8. Rest chicken for 10 minutes, before slicing into strips.
  9. Add a base of brown rice to 4 bowls or sealed containers. Top each with a scoop of black beans, corn, additional tomato pasta sauce, cheddar cheese, cooked bell peppers, and onions, and sliced chicken. 
  10. Enjoy immediately or store in the refrigerator. Can be kept refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Download this delicious recipe here




When it’s time to start managing your own money (and no, the pocket money your mom gave you is still not your own money, not really), it can be difficult knowing where to start. 

I remember trying to manage my money for the first time and it just felt like there was always ‘too much month left after my money’. But once I found out how to actually budget, it became easier and I was actually surprised that I could start saving money at the end of each month.  

Let’s take a look at how you can start budgeting like an adult. 

Top tips to managing your money like a grown-up


1. List all forms of income

Take an average of how much you bring in each month (or the actual number if it is consistent). Always use the net amount (after-tax) of your income instead of the gross amount (before tax). You need to know exactly how much you have to work with each month.

If your income changes every month, this will be a little more difficult. Use an average amount and keep reviewing and tweaking it each month.

2. List all your fixed and variable expenses 

The fixed expenses are the ones that don’t change as each month goes past so this will be your rent, your utilities, your car payment(s), insurance and retirement savings (you should definitely have some form of retirement savings in place), cell phone plan or your WiFi for example. You can also add petrol to this list of expenses (even though it changes) because you know more or less how much you spend on it each month.

Then you have your variable expenses which change month to month, these include entertainment (going to the movies), eating out, clothes shopping, gym memberships, coffee on your way to work. You can list these expenses and the average amounts you think you might spend on them for that particular month.

3. Do the math

Now it’s time to figure out what you’ve got left. Take your income (after tax) and deduct all of your expenses – is there anything left over? How much is left? Is it sufficient?  

If the answer is yes, YAY! You now have enough to make it rain… in your savings account.

If your income is not enough to cover your expenses, head back to number 2 and dig deeper into your variable expenses. See what expenses are necessary and which expenses can be taken out. 

4. Make saving easy

It was a big shock when I first listed all my expenses. I could see why I was broke before I’d even gotten through my first month on my own. I decided to change my variable expenses and take a few things out. I didn’t cut all the fun out of my life, I just started acting like a sensible adult for a change.

This left me with enough money to save each month. Savings might not sound like a big deal but they always come in handy if you’re ever in a bad month or if you have a trip you’ve always wanted to take. 

5. Keep track 

Don’t just create a budget and then forget about it. It’s not something that can just be put together and never considered again. Your income and expenses change, so budgets need to be looked at monthly.

It’s easy to keep track of everything using an Exel spreadsheet or online management tools which do most of the work for you (monday.com is a great project management and money management tool!). It’s all about whatever works best for you and what you’re likely to keep referring to. 

6. Lessons Learned 

Making adult decisions brings responsibilities, especially when it comes to managing money. Not taking these adult responsibilities seriously can mean ending up with a ton of debt and no food on the table (and no Netflix subscription). Each month, you need to take a look at what went wrong and constantly adapt until you’re living comfortably consistently. 

Budgeting doesn’t sound fun but once you’ve mastered the art of managing your money, you’ll be so excited about your new budget. Be sure to keep referring to your budget at the end of each month and make sure you’re realistic about your expenses so you don’t keep running out of money each month!