Tips for Saving & Budget Template 2021

People who don't have a plan, leave it up to chance for their situation to be right. This rings especially true with your finances. Here we have money saving strategies, budgeting templates and some tips to live by financially, whether you're an individual, have a family, own a house or don't.

Article published 16 August 2021

How to Budget

Budgeting is an important skill to have as it can provide you with a clearer picture of your overall financial situation. Although budgeting can feel like a daunting and time consuming task, having a good understanding on the basics of budgeting and finding what suits your financial situation can go a long way to helping you feel more in control of your money. 

Here are some simple steps to get your budgeting started on the right track:

  • Keep a Record of Your Income

    To put it simply, budgeting involves taking into account your income and expenses and understanding what you’re doing well and what can be improved with your finances. You can keep a record of your income by making a list of all the money that is coming in that includes how much, where from and the frequency you receive it. 

  • Add in Your Expenses

    Now that you’re tracking the money going in, it’s time to look at the money going out. By adding expenses in the same way as your income you will be able to dive deep into what your expenses are for, how much they are and when you pay them.  

  • Follow this Downloadable template

    To start your budget and get an idea of what your income and expenses are, you can download our budget planning template below to get you started. 

  • Create a Record and Projection of Your Income

    Once you’ve created a record of your income, you can create a projection of your income to understand exactly how much money you can expect to receive in a certain period of time. If you receive income from different sources at different frequencies, it may be beneficial to total the income you can expect to receive for the full year and divide that amount by 12 to get your expected monthly income. This can set the basis for how much money you will have each month to spend and how much you want to save. 

  • Take note of Essential VS unessential expenses

    By making a list of all your expenses, you will be able to see what you're spending on and make a list of your essential vs unessential expenses. Essential expenses are the items you need to pay for to live, these can include fixed expenses (rent/mortgage payments, bills, rates, etc), debt expenses (loans, credit cards) and unexpected expenses (car repairs, medical costs, etc). You will then have a remaining list of unessential expenses that you can review to understand what you might no longer need or want to continue paying for. 

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Budgeting Tips

Whether you are saving for a specific item such as a deposit for your first home, an overseas trip or even a new car, or you’re just saving to create financial stability, budgeting is a great tool to achieve your financial goals. 

By creating realistic goals for your budget, and assigning a particular dollar value to them, you can easily identify what actions you need to take to achieve them and track your progress over time. 

Setting realistic expectations on how long it will take you to achieve your goals is helpful when budgeting. If your budget goals are unrealistic, it can be difficult to stay motivated or cause unnecessary stress on your lifestyle if you try to overstretch your finances to reach your goals. 

You can use our savings calculator here to understand what you will need to save to achieve your goals in time. 

Keeping your budget set to a specific monthly routine can be helpful to stay on track and update continually with any updates to your finances. By adding your budget planning to your routine, you will always keep it front of mind and ensure that you’re achieving your goals. 

There are many different strategies you can use to stay accountable with your budgeting, the key is finding the thing that works for you. Some common ways to help stay accountable when budgeting can include limiting your access to your savings, tracking your spending, finding an accountability partner to budget with, listening to finance podcasts and reading budgeting blogs, or even changing your budget if your current set up doesn’t seem to be working. 

It’s important to remember that a budget is not always a fixed planned and should be updated consistently to reflect your situation. 

Saving on a Tight Budget

When you’re saving on a tight budget to achieve a large goal such as saving up for your home deposit, it’s helpful to review your unnecessary expenses and find ways to be more efficient in your savings. 

Here are some tips we have when it comes to saving on a tight budget: 

  • Double Check Your Subscriptions list
  • Take Advantage of Discounts/Watch Promotional Emails
  • Use Loyalty Rewards
  • Avoid unnecessary bank fees
  • Make note of Unessentials in budget
  • Learn to cook and take advantage of making delicious home cooked meals instead of ordering out
  • Invest in Solar Panels
  • Get a bicycle to save money on fuel, public transport or those short uber rides
  • Make lists of things to buy instead of window shopping

If you’re budgeting for the deposit on your first home, it can be helpful to know how much deposit you will need to purchase your dream home. Speak to your Mortgage Choice broker to find out what's involved and help you get into your first home sooner!

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Posted in: First home buyers