Would you like to take control of your finances?

Setting yourself a sensible budget and sticking to it, is one of the surest ways to create a healthy balance between spending and saving. A budget allows you to track where your money goes and easily identifies saving opportunities.

Here we provide a few simple steps to take when planning a budget:

Decide your budget goals.
Having a goal in mind will help you stick to a budget. Whether you are trying to free yourself from debt or are hoping to put money aside for your wedding or holiday, it’s worth knowing what you are working towards so you will have the discipline to follow a budget.

Identify your income.
All it takes to create a manageable budget is a little planning. To get started, calculate how much income you receive from sources such as wages, government pensions or returns from investments. Split your total income into monthly increments to figure out how much money you have coming in regularly over the year.

Calculate your expenses.
After you have figured out your income, you can concentrate on your regular costs. Review your bank statements, bills and receipts. Some of your regular expenses will be consistent and easier to track, such as phone bills, utility bills and mortgage or loan repayments. Others such as the ongoing irregular costs of groceries, petrol and entertainment can be harder to calculate and might need to be averaged out.

Our Budget Planner Calculator is a great tool to make sure you don’t forget about any areas of spending.

Figure out where you stand.
Once you have figured out your income and expenses to the best of your ability, you can weigh the two up. If you are earning more than you are spending, then you are off to a good start. If your expenses exceed your income, then it’s time to start making some adjustments. A budget plan can help you grow your savings or limit your losses on a day-to-day basis.

Create a budget plan and stick to it.
Once you have figured out where you are financially, you can start implementing a budget. Draw up a budget with a timeframe that suits your lifestyle and goals, whether that is weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Factor in the income and unavoidable expenses for that period.

What you are left with is where you can start saving. Give yourself a realistic allowance for everyday expenses and leisure, and keep records of what you buy. Start identifying and cutting out unnecessary expenses. This kind of discipline will help you better manage your own money and live within your means.

Save what you aren’t spending.
Using a separate account to split your savings from your everyday transaction account, is a great way to stop spending money ‘just because it’s there’ - it cuts down the temptation for impulse purchases. Plus you can increase your interest earnings to add to your savings. Look through our collection of savings accounts to see which suits you best. You might find that a term deposit is a good option for you, if you have a lump sum that you won’t be spending soon.

When you decide it’s time to start budget planning, we have the services to put you on the right track. Speak to one of our consultants on 1300 654 822.