BSB 806 015

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BSB 806 015

Create a budget

Step 1: List your financial goals

A budget is basically a diet for your finances. It’s the reverse of calories however - you want more money coming in and less going out.

You’ll find it’s easier to stick to if you have an incentive. Listing your short and long term financial goals will give you some ‘savinspiration’ to help you stay the course.

It’s easiest to work with a budget that mirrors how you get paid. For example, if you get paid monthly, a monthly budget may be your best option.

Step 2: Assessing your finances

Don’t know where your money disappears to? It’s time to find out.

To make it easy for you, we have a Budget Planner Calculator that helps you determine your total income and expenses.

Budget Planner Calculator

To make sure the information you enter is accurate, collect your payslips and any statements detailing income from investments and interest.

The Calculator will add up your total income and, depending on whether you’re creating a monthly or weekly budget, divide it accordingly.

This is how much you have to play with in your budget.

Next, the Calculator will determine how much you spend. Your recent bank account statements and bills should detail your regular expenses, as well as those items that you pay for once or twice a year, such as car rego or rates.

Don’t forget to add in those items you might pay cash for, like lunch, coffee or movies.

Step 3: Identifying where you can make savings

To figure out where you have room to trim the fat, organise your expenses into 3 categories:

Fixed expenses:

things like rent, the mortgage, bills and insurance tend to stay the same from month to month. 

Variable expenses:

groceries and petrol tend to fluctuate a bit.

Nonessential expenses:

these are the things you may like but can live with out, like entertainment and clothes.

The nonessentials are where the easiest savings will come from. You can also trim in the other areas, but it may require a little more effort. For example, buy cheaper food brands, turn off appliances at the wall, even rent out the spare room.

Step 4: Track your spending

Drawing up a budget is only one half of the battle. You've also got to stick to it. We told you this was like dieting!

Keeping a spending journal can help. This means recording every time you swipe your card or spend some cash. You can write it down manually, or use an app on your smartphone like TrackMySpend by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

By keeping track of where your money is going, you’ll soon see where you’re blowing out and be able to create strategies to deal with it.

& we’re here to help too, with a range of accounts to help you budget and save for a rainy day.

Compare savings accounts

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