Foolproof budgeting tips

Spending is easy. Life gets busy and months can roll by without thinking too seriously about money. If you want to get a handle on your spending it’s time to get honest about where your money goes, and these five tips can help.

  1. Set up a budget tracker

The first step to understanding what you spend is to find an app to track your spending.

Most apps categorise your spending (some do it automatically) so you can see your spending habits in black and white. Be warned, you may be in for a big wakeup call about where your hard-earned dollars are going.

If you choose not to have an automated app make sure to be honest with yourself when tracking your budget. Don’t try and fudge the numbers to make yourself feel better, it won’t help.

  1. Pre-plan your budget

Once you have your figures, you might decide it’s time to do some things differently. Using a budget planner helps to identify your money coming in, your living expenses, and where you might have room to move.

Budgets don’t have to be all about sacrifice and going without. It’s a money to-do list. Don’t be tempted to go too hard too fast. Going from spender to saver is a transition – come up with a workable plan and don't set yourself up to fail.

  1. Pay with cash

Tap and go technology makes life easier but a great savings tip is to trial a week where you can only pay in cash. Convenience sometimes makes us forget we’re using real money. Thinking about the cash you hand over every time you make a purchase can help you visualize your spending.

Another way to use this method is to withdraw your allocated free spending money from a fee free ATM on pay-day and try to stick to only spending what is in your wallet.

  1. Get some help

It’s easy to feel like everyone else has their money together but that’s not usually the case. Asking for help with your budget and tracking your spending takes strength. Whatever your situation, it’s never too late to get things sorted and make a plan for your money.

Talk to a bank you can trust, or a financial planner and they can help with practical tips on money management.

  1. Don’t give up

Changing your spending habits can be hard, so don’t give up. If you go off-course with tracking your budget or being honest about your spending simply start your next day or next week afresh and get back on track. Remember it’s never too late to take control of your budget and trust us, you’ll begin to see some positive changes in your spending habits by implementing these simple steps.

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