Cash Flow Management – Budgeting and saving tips
We know that adage all too well – “We all know how to spend but very few of us know how to Save!”
Simple steps to save for what counts
Four ways to improve how you budget and save
1.Be realistic—Living to a budget is not a ‘crash diet,’ it’s a healthy balance where you shouldn’t deprive yourself or over-indulge in spending.
2.Spend less than you earn—Live within your means and put any spare money into your savings.
3.Avoid personal debt—Don’t spend what you haven’t got so cut out or cut back on your credit card spending. This doesn’t mean avoiding ‘good debt’ to buy assets like a home or investments.
4.Don’t be caught out—Have an emergency fund for unforeseen events and cover yourself with the right insurance.
Budget Planner Tool to assist you.
1.Pay yourself first—Deposit a set dollar amount regularly into your savings much like you would pay any other bill.
2.Separate your savings from expenses—Do automatic transfers into a savings account to keep your money out of reach of your everyday account.
3.Consolidate all your income—Deposit extra income like tax returns, bonuses, gifts, even sales of personal goods into your savings.
4.Record and review your habits—Use shopping lists, online diaries or a budgeting app to log what you spend.
5.Define short- and long-term goals—Be specific about your saving goals and timeframe. Short term (one or two years) could be a holiday, car or appliances. Long term (five plus years) could be for a home, investments or your retirement.
If you can’t seem to get ahead, you first need to know where your money is going.
You can start by listing your expenses on our Budget planner calculator—everything from major essentials like home loan repayments or rent, insurance, transport, education and food right down to your daily coffee.
Are you over-paying on bills and banking?
It’s surprising how small amounts add up. Paying fees on accounts, whether late fees on utilities, services and credit cards, or transaction and management fees on bank accounts, is money you could put to better use.
Review your accounts carefully and use as many ‘fee free’ services as you can. For instance, most Australian Banks and phone banking transactions are free so using a service like , Net Bank, BankNet,and other online banking systems to do as many transactions as possible makes sense.
Saving money doesn’t have to be difficult. It’s good common sense. For example, ‘paying yourself first’ is one way to take better control of your money.
Another tip to making your money go further is to earn more interest. Watch your savings grow when you pick the right interest-earning account and leave your everyday transactions for another account that gives you freedom of limitless transactions and little or no account-keeping fees. Add a bit more self-discipline like automatic transfers into a savings account each month direct from your pay, and you may be surprised how easy it is to reach your short or long-term goals.