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Budgeting - blergh!

Budgets may be tedious to set up but once they are up and running they can bring you nothing but joy!

Why budget?

Okay,  so that's a slight overstatement. But budgets can help you get your money on track so you can pay off a loan or credit card or get that holiday or house deposit.

[quote]"Take care of the cents, and the dollars will take care of themselves"  - attributed to William Lowndes[/quote]

Budgeting is about getting familiar with your money and getting your money priorities in order. All you have to do is sit down and work out:

  • money coming in
  • money going out
  • when it happens
  • Be honest. Be realistic. Most people underestimate what they spend. A little bit here and a little bit there very quickly can amount to a lot. A budget can really highlight this and can help you sober up your spending.

    Budgeting tools

    There are loads of helpful budgeting tools that help capture how and what you spend. Excel has a template, iMacs have a built in template and there are loads of budget templates on the web you can download for free.

    There are also budgeting apps that sync with your bank account and can alert you of upcoming, paid and missed bills. They also try and keep you on track for spending and saving.  One reputable one is called Pocketbook. It automatically categorises everything and recognises regular payments. Set up a budget structure within about 10 -15 mins.

    Budgeting tips

  • Do you really need it?
  • Be careful of emotional purchases. Shopping when tired or upset can result in an expensive new outfit that you don't need.

  • Food choices
  • A $5 bottle of drink with lunch OR a free glass of water? Save expense on meals for special occasions.

  • It's not being tight, it's being wise.
  • Spending money frivolously may be fun but is not practical and is short lived. You do not gain respect from others by buying lunches and drinks for everyone all the time and ending up skint.

  • Take it back to simple living. Do I really NEED this?
  • Every day we are faced with hundreds of food, clothing, activity and life experience choices. Try and work out what is a want and what is a need.

  • Save 10% of your income
  • If its $10, then save $1. If it's $500, then save $50. Put it away the minute you get it. Forget about it. Check on it a year later and be pleasantly surprised.

  • Do it.
  • Little by little every day, watch your money going out here and there, save and your budgeting dream goals will come true. Only you can make it happen.