Tuesday, March 19

Budgeting and sticking to it

Being a single income family on not exactly the biggest wage in the world means that budgeting is a high priority in our house. Sticking to the budget is even more important and not quite as tricky as I once thought. With that in mind I thought that today I would share a few of my budgeting tips.
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As part of the Digital Parents Conference 2013, RAMS is hosting the Loose Change Round Up, which this post is participating in.

For us a budget is the only way to make sure that everything that needs to get paid does so in a timely manner. Knowing when expenses are due and preparing for them before the due date really takes the stress out of finding the money at the last minute.

When preparing a budget start with the biggest and most regular payments. For most people this is the rent or mortgage repayments, followed by other loan repayments (such as car or personal loans).

From here the next step is to work out approximate expected costs for regular bills such as the phone and electricity. Looking at previous bills and averaging out a weekly amount to put aside means that when the bill arrives it is more likely you will have the money already saved and put away. This same principle can be used for other regular expenses such as car registration, insurances, and the like.

To get into the habit of putting the money aside each pay some people find physically putting the money in separate envelopes each pay the best idea. Though with the modern wonders of technology it is just as easy to have automatic periodical payments set up for most of the regular bills.

When creating your budget it is always a good idea to make sure that you include items such as entertainment and fun activities. Even if it is only a few dollars every week that accumulates towards a monthly family outing or something similar. Neglecting to include such areas is where most budgets fall through. As with most things in life it is all about balance and moderation. Budgeting is no exception.

One of the easiest ways to remain accountable for what you spend and help your budget stay on track is to keep a record of everything that you spend. Being aware of what you are spending will alert you to areas where you may be spending excessively or where you may be able to cut back if needed.

So in a nutshell here are my top budgeting tips to create a budget that you will stick to

  • Be realistic with the amounts 
  • Include all expenses including fun ones and savings
  • Start small and build up once you get the hang allocating the money
  • Set up direct debit and automatic payments where ever you can
  • Write down where you spend you money. Especially on all the little things. It is the best way to keep track of how your money is actually being spent and whether it is budgeted for or not

It is Tuesday and I have blogged, you should too.

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  1. I'm a big fan of budgets (tho we do break it from time to time) _the spending stresses me otherwise...

  2. great tips Rhi. People who don't have budgets amaze me! I couldn't handle not having one, and not knowing it inside out. In saying that, doesn't' mean I stick to said budget. Every week we seem to have things that pop up - birthday presents to buy, impromptu meals out, memberships etc. etc. it's very frustrating. But we lived off one income for 18 months (longer if yo include when I was pregnant and not working) and it drives me nuts that we can't manage it now. We live off 2 incomes and still there's too much week left at the end of the money! Our next step is to cut up the CC but hubby can't bring himself to do it. Great post. x

  3. We used to do the actual physical envelopes thing back when we were a one income family too - we kept them in a safe we had specially built into the floor of our bedroom! It really worked too :-)

  4. You have a very similar budget plan to us! My mum instilled into me as soon as I started in the workforce how important it is to have one. I hear you on the one income.. sometimes it's tighter than a brass wazoo!

  5. I hear you on the single income front, you have to be onto it or you can get into trouble. I think setting aside money for fun stuff is sooo important otherwise the drudgery of the week gets a little much. Being creative with cheap of free activities is important I've found too! X Karen

  6. Budgeting works well for our family! We know how much we can spend and we always have enough to pay bills but not always enough to buy takeaway! We have multiple bank accounts but only one for spending on groceries, entertainmnent and petrol, if the money runs in that account that is it.

  7. We're budgeting, trying to get our debts paid off and man I hate it - you do realise though how much money you spend on crap when you don't really need it.

  8. Whether you budget or not, one of the best exercises you can do, is the write EVERYTHING down one, even just for one week. You will be amazed where the money goes. Have fun in Sydney :)

  9. A budget is definitely the way to go, but sometimes it's easy to slip. I think every now and then a little extra spend doesn't hurt, as long as you know when to stop. Great tips Rhi :)

  10. Great tips. I used to budget when I was a student, but Mr O is a trained accountant and therefore the spreadsheet king so I leave it up to him now. Even with two incomes, we work to a budget :-)

  11. I am terrible with budgets! These are some great tips - I especially like the idea of writing downt he little things as well - these can add up to so much can't they?
    Josefa from #teamIBOT

  12. I'm super useless with budgets, but I'm getting there. However, the Husband and I are pretty good with our money, and are teaching our kids to learn the value of money and so they learn it doesn't just grow on trees!

  13. I have been doing it since my teenager since my parents gave me monthly pocket money. It works well until now. Your tips are similar to what I have done so far. My husband is not that use to budgeting, so all the family income is by me. Lol.


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