Once you’ve created a budget, the next step is actually sticking to it. This is certainly easier said than done. Birthdays, outings with friends, grocery shopping and eating out can all be tempting opportunities to splurge and ruin the financial plan you’ve set for yourself. But don’t fret: today we are giving you all the tools you need to make your lifestyle fit around your budget, from carrying cash to speaking to a Silverdale accountant in Heidelberg.
#1: Open up a separate savings account
Keeping your savings separate from your checking account (or everyday account) is absolutely essential for successful personal finance. Not only do many savings accounts offer higher interest rates, but it’s also easier to manage your money and track your success when accounts are separated.
#2: Carry cash
It’s an age-old trick, but it really works by physically holding you accountable for what you spend.
#3: Prepare for financial emergencies
Always allocate some of your income to an emergency fund. Aim for the fund to cover three to six months of your total living costs, so if you lose your job or run into another financial emergency, you’ll be covered.
#4: Try the 50/30/20 rule
A popular budgeting technique is the 50/30/20 rule, where 50% of your income goes to living expenses, 20% goes to your financial goals, and 30% goes to discretionary spending.
#5: Budget with a friend
Budgeting can feel easier and less restrictive when you check in regularly with a friend who holds you accountable (and vice versa). Plus, you’ll both be on board for budget-friendly outings!
#6: Track everything you spend
List everything you spend down on your phone’s notes or track spending with an app. This will make setting goals easier, more achievable and more realistic.
#7: Create a financial calendar
Mark out birthdays and special events you’re likely to spend for. You should also note down the dates on which your bills recur so you can be prepared before they come around.
#8: Tackle higher interest rate debts first
Even though it may seem like a slower process, the best way to prevent debts from piling up is by paying off those with the highest interest rates first.
#9: Set short-term goals too
Long-term goals may seem unattainable at times. Setting short-term goals (such as a monthly savings goal figure) fixes this by breaking down big ideas into smaller, more achievable ones.
#10: Check in with yourself frequently
Set aside some time each week to review where you’ve spent and where you’ve saved. Every month you should also do an in-depth review of your finances and make any changes necessary to stay on track with your goals.
#11: Shop for quality, not quantity
While the fast fashion t-shirt that costs $5 might seem like a better buy than a $30 t-shirt, you should see the bigger picture: the $30 option is likely to last much longer, meaning it’s more valuable (and cheaper in the long run, as opposed to continually replacing that $5 t-shirt). Choosing ethically-produced fashion is better for the environment and human rights, too.
#12: Avoid co-signing loans
Co-signing a loan with a family member or significant other can seem like a good idea at the time – until they miss a payment and your hard-earned credit score suffers for it.
#13: Find unique ways to relieve stress
#14: Review your insurance and utility options
Your health insurance, personal insurance, superannuation fund, electricity and gas should be reviewed to see if you are spending more than you should be, or not getting as much return as you should.
#15: Buy experiences, not things
Experiences are actually proven to bring you more happiness in the long run!
#16: Socialise on a budget
You can still go out and have fun on a budget. Go to a bar during happy hour, go out for coffees instead of lunch, or plan a low-cost day at the beach instead of a costly night out.
#17: Consider meal planning
Meal planning is a great way to eat healthier and spend less. Start out by planning your work lunches and snacks rather than buying them – this is where people tend to spend the most.
#18: Stay fit at home
Rather than paying for an expensive gym membership, explore the options you have at home. There are plenty of free routines you can watch online that don’t require much equipment at all. Plus, staying active helps you to destress and approach your finances with a clear head.
#19: Get professional advice on your self-managed super fund
A self-managed super fund can be difficult to juggle on your own. We recommend getting in touch with a local accountant in Heidelberg to help oversee your SMSF and provide professional advice on how to manage it.
Manage your super with the help of an accountant in Heidelberg
Silverdale Consulting Group provides a range of accounting, taxation, and financial consulting services to both individuals and businesses in Australia. Our team has over 40 years of combined experience in the accounting and finance industry, so when you get SMSF advice from a Silverdale accountant in Heidelberg, you can trust that our knowledge will help see you through your financial goals.
Get in touch with an accountant in Heidelberg today by calling us on (03) 9497 5885 or submitting an enquiry form online.