Consider if you need a budget
- Have greater awareness of how you’re spending your money
- Look for economies that could help you make savings
- Plan for the future and reach your financial goals
- Keep on top of your finances and avoid problems
If you’re living pay cheque to pay cheque, or struggling to put any money away for the future, it might be time to create a budget.
Track your spending
Before you can plan a future budget, you need to fully understand your current situation. How much do you earn and what are you spending your money on?
We recommend you track your spending for at least a fortnight (ideally, a month) using a spending diary and record every purchase you make.
If you don’t feel like writing it down you can download a smartphone app like TrackMySPEND from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission website.
The most important thing to remember is that you must track everything!Record every stick of chewing gum, every magazine and every coffee. Often it’s not the big things like rent, bills and loan payments that cause us to blow our budgets, but all the little purchases added together.
Be sure to include the following in your tracking:
- Direct debits and repayments
- Daily spends on transport
- Subscriptions and regular payments