Budgeting 101

18 Aug 2020

5 minute read

Budgeting 101

In an ideal world, we are all budgeting pro's and never get caught out when an expected bill arrives. Alas, life isn't always ideal.

The good news is, there are ways to improve your budgeting skills and work your way to expert status.

Here's our top tips to become budding budgeters

Set the budget

It's all about setting expectations – set goals and make sure you know what you want to achieve, so you can keep track of your progress.

Know when to say ‘no'

It can often be difficult to work out what is a want and what is a need. Here lies the secret to successfully saving a little extra cash each month. Some of your deemed 'needs' may actually be a little more flexible than you think – do you really need that expensive gym membership, or could you downgrade?

Acknowledge the essentials

It is important to recognise that there are of course essentials – things you cannot live without. The 'needs' as we call them.

Start your budget by listing all potential needs and calculating the monthly cost to ensure you can budget accurately. Make sure you look over this list to work out the flexible needs that can be removed or reduced.

These could include:

  1. Rent/mortgage
  2. Loan repayments (credit card, car)
  3. Insurance (health, car, home, phone)
  4. Groceries, toiletries, and other essentials
  5. Water, electricity/gas
  6. Transport (fuel, public transport, tolls)
  7. Phone bill
  8. Home internet
  9. Medical needs
  10. Gym membership
  11. Subscriptions (Spotify, Disney Plus, Netflix.)
  12. Entertainment/ social outings (dining out, birthdays)
  13. Personal purchases (clothes, jewellery).

Consider adding a manageable allocation to 'savings' as a need. If it's not open to flexibility, you will become more disciplined with yourself to put the money aside.

Keep track of timing

Don't overcomplicate things for yourself – if you get paid monthly, make sure you're calculating your budget on a monthly basis. Also try to align direct debits to your pay schedule so you are on-top of deductions and aren't hit at the end of the month/fortnight with a bunch of debits you weren't prepared for.

Avoid over-committing

When you're trying to budget, you'll only set yourself back if you take out more loans or add another expense on your Afterpay account. Once you've learnt to manage your budget – try not to add anything extra without considering it in the budget first. Also limit your credit card spend if it hasn't been accounted for – credit repayments should be considered within your budget.

Keep yourself accountable

A $5 coffee every now-and-then may not seem like much, but over time it will add up. Make sure you are keeping an eye on your small expenses so you can factor them into the budget and consider where they fit into your monthly allocation. If you keep a record of how much money is going to smaller purchases, you may also come to realise how much money is being unnecessarily spent here!

Stick to it!

Good budgeting takes time – so don't give up. Every little bit counts, and you've got to start somewhere. Don't be too hard on yourself, and when things get difficult - MyPayNow are here to help you out.