When you plan for things, you can eliminate a significant level of risk from the situation... would you go on a long road trip without planning your journey? Where will you stay? What will you do if something unexpected happens? Who will help you? What if you get lost? Anything could happen and you will not be prepared for any of it!
The truth about budgeting is simple; it does not stop you from spending money, it just smoothes out the financial bumps that life throws at us by putting money aside for expected and unexpected costs. Budgeting does not mean saving everything and only spending money on necessities. It’s an organisation of your money and if you can master the art of being a Budget Ninja, you will have an extremely fun life without worrying about your finances!
You wouldn't store all of your household items in one room of your home, so why would you store all of your money in one or two accounts? Your home is organised into logical areas; kitchen items belong in the kitchen; wardrobes contain clothing and you don't store your cleaning products with your perishable food in fear of contamination. Your budget should be organised into logical categories and money should be 'stored' where it makes sense.
If you wouldn't store your chemicals in your fridge or pantry, you shouldn't be storing your bill money with your fun money. It's time to get serious about your budget and how it is organised. If it is not logical and sustainable, it won't be functioning effectively. When your home is disorganised, it won't be functioning efficiently and effectively. If you are serious about saving money and reducing financial waste; organise your money!
Budgeting is merely a change of mindset to smooth out incidental spending and to achieve whatever financial goals you have in mind. When you start achieving your goals, you will realise how much happier you are; people will even start asking what your secret is! This is not a “get rich quick scheme” and you don’t have to work harder to earn as much money as possible. You can work with what you have, but you must be realistic about your lifestyle choices and may need to make some changes to give yourselves more freedom. Some people may only need to make small changes, however other people may need to compromise in many areas of spending to really fly kick their spending habits!
Looking at your spending is a really important aspect of creating a successful budget! Why work harder to pay for things you don’t need or don’t think about? It’s easy to let your hard earned money slip through your fingers if you are not conscious of your spending, especially bills. How many times have you received a shocking electricity bill? Reduction of spend leakage will advance your savings goals quicker than you realise!
2 x takeaway lunches & coffees per week = $20 x 52 = $1040
Going out for dinner once a fortnight or month instead of weekly = $80 per week x 52 = $4160
Moving a little bit further away from work to cheaper housing = $50 per week x 52 = $2600
Create a shopping list, grocery budget and plan to shop at a supermarket instead of multiple trips to convenience stores = $30 per week x 52 = $1560
Quit smoking = $120 per week x 52 = $6240
Reduce luxury shopping items = $100 per week x 52 = $5200 (clean out your wardrobe and sell unwanted items to keep yourself away from the shops!)
Look at your bills! Could you turn off electrical items more often, reduce time on your phone or change your light globes? Reducing bills by $50 per month x 12 = $600
Compare insurance quotes every year! This could save you $20 per month per policy x 12 = $240
Do you have to buy everything brand new? Can you go without? Can you borrow instead? Can you research alternative options? Can you purchase second hand? Can you sell something to help pay for the new item? Can you find a creative solution at a fraction of the cost? Can you educate your family about electricity/water consumption and encourage ‘switching off’ as much as possible?
We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to have the best of everything right now, but we often disadvantage ourselves by doing so! What can be compromised? If you are able to focus more attention on your spending, you will find multiple ways to cut costs without even noticing a slight change in lifestyle decisions.
How good would you feel if ALL of your bills and living expenses were covered every month, while also having additional funds allocated to unexpected extras? Plus, you could also pay for a holiday every year without using a credit card!! What’s not fun about that??