If the idea of budgeting makes you want to put your head in the sand, don’t worry, it’s not as bad as you might think. Putting a financial budget together is really just a recce into your personal finances.
Sure, it might take a little bit of time and effort upfront, but a budget can change your life, and with the right tools, budgets are really simple to maintain.
Imagine knowing you have money set aside to not only cover your expenses but to save for things you really want.
A budget can be the difference between dreaming about your financial goals and actually achieving them.
Put simply, a budget shows you how much you earn and where your money goes, and the more visibility you have of your spending, the more control you have over it.
The good life
It’s not too long ago that we were enjoying record-low interest rates, low inflation, and low unemployment: many of us really were living the good life.
However, there’s no way around the fact that we’re now in trickier economic times. The cost of living is on the rise. Food and energy prices, rents and interest rates have all increased and it’s hard not to feel it.
The cash rate is at its highest level in 11 years
Between April 2022 and July 2023 there have been 12 interest rate hikes
In the past 12 months over 40% of suburbs have increased rents by 10% or more
Credit card debt is 2.5% higher compared to a year ago
While it’s not all doom and gloom, now is definitely a good time to give ourselves a financial health check. If you don’t already have a budget, it’s a fantastic time to create one – and we have just the tool.
Now more than ever, a budget can mean the difference between feeling stressed when you think about money, and feeling in control. It can mean knowing you have a plan to upgrade your car in two years, rather than wondering if that’s possible, or doing it now and not understanding how that affects your other financial goals.
Having a budget can mean feeling ready for yet another interest rate rise, instead of feeling sick at the thought of it.
The good news is, we’re not saying kill your daily lattes.
But we are saying, get a handle on your lattes, your lunches, your weekends away, and all the ways you spend your hard-earned money.
Deep dive into all of it, because you can’t change what you can’t see, and you won’t have money for stuff that really matters, if your bank balance regularly gets drained by endless small expenditures.
Spend more money
We want you to spend more money! Yes really. We want you to achieve your goals, for example:
Buy the car
Save the house deposit
Book the overseas trip
Invest in the shares
We’re all for spending money on things that really bring you joy, enrich your life, or help you achieve long-term wealth.
However, we’re not fans of incessant spending on small things (or big things), that suck up your finances and give you very little in return.
We’ve all been there: Ubers, Uber Eats, Uber Everything. It may be super convenient, but discretionary, or non-essential spending, can really bleed you dry and stop you achieving your financial goals.
Being smart with money is about spending more on things that really matter to you, and spending less on things that don’t.
Knowledge is power
The only thing standing between you and your financial goals, could be as simple as creating a budget, which is really just a fact-finding exercise.
Creating a budget will give you a good idea of what’s coming in and what’s going out of your bank account. Then you can decide what you really want to spend your money on.
Whatever tool you use to budget, the key is to get started and commit to your financial goals, because they’re going to be one of your biggest motivators to keep going.
Think about your goals and what you want to achieve financially over a period of time, be that short-term, medium-term or long-term. Whatever your circumstances, by working out your financial goals and starting a regular savings plan, you’re one step closer to making your dreams a reality.
Focus on your goals
So, will a budget help make your dreams come true?
At the very least, we think spending money knowing it’s okay to spend because we’ve got a handle on our finances, is next level. What do you think?
Check out our other articles on a range of helpful topics