Practical tips for setting and managing your budget

woman working at home

 

We’re well into the new financial year, and perhaps you were very organised and set yourself some financial and budgetary goals for the year. Or, maybe you’re like many people and keep meaning to set goals, but just can’t seem to find the time. Or you could have started the new financial year with the best of intentions, but as time went on, you’ve strayed a little from your original plans.

If either of these last two scenarios sound like you, it’s not too late to get back on track and take control of your finances. Here’s  7 practical tips to help you take back control.

1. Set some goals

Think about what you want to achieve this financial year. Is it to save for something special, to curb your spending or to reduce your debts? Once you know what you’re aiming for, you can set – and achieve – your goals.

2. Understand where your money goes

If you’re running out of money before payday, or you’d just like to get a better understanding of where your money goes, it’s probably a good idea to start tracking your spending. You could be surprised at how much you’re spending on ‘incidentals’ or things you could easily substitute.

3. Set a budget

If you don’t already have a budget, there’s no time like the present to set one. Use a budget calculator to work out your expenditure and find out how much you could put aside each payday.

4. Get your super sorted

Find out if you have any lost super (just google ‘find lost super’ and make sure you’re using a reputable site) and how you can consolidate it to avoid paying multiple fees.

5. Consolidate your debt

Now might be the time to get rid of extra credit cards and opt for a single card with a lower interest rate and lower fees.

If you have a home loan, consider increasing your loan amount and using the extra money to pay off your other debts. A home loan usually has a lower interest rate than debts such as credit cards, so this will help you to avoid paying higher interest rates.

If you don’t have a home loan, consider getting a personal loan at a lower interest rate to help you pay off your debts sooner.

6. See where you can make savings on big-ticket items

Take advantage of periodic sales to buy big-ticket items, such as cars, whitegoods or furniture. And be sure to do your research on products and prices: shop around and don’t be afraid to bargain.

Make sure you get the best rates available on your frequent bills such as insurance and energy. Use comparison websites, to compare product benefits and costs, and check Canstar to see how your interest rates and financial products stack up.

7. Commit to better money habits

To make managing your money easier, you might like to try a debt management concept, such as having multiple linked accounts to help you separate your bills, savings and spending money easily.

Resolve to curb any costly bad habits that can drain your finances, such as paying for things that you can do yourself. Do you really need to outsource house cleaning or washing the car?


Staying on Track

One of the major benefits of having a budget is that you have in writing your expected revenues, expenses and financial situation. A regular comparison of your budget and actual figures will help you to understand what has happened and help you stay on track to meet your goals.

Working on your finances can be a bit daunting at any time. If you’d like some help with working out your financial goals, you might want to consider getting professional advice. You can email us at admin@bbaccountant.com.au or call us on 07 3822 7102 so we can put together a tailor-made plan that is designed just for you.

 


 

General advice disclaimer

General advice warning: The advice provided is general advice only as, in preparing it we did not take into account your investment objectives, financial situation or particular needs. Before making an investment decision on the basis of this advice, you should consider how appropriate the advice is to your particular investment needs, and objectives. You should also consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before making any decision relating to a financial product.