“New Year, new me,” many of said with optimistic determination, being mindful of all sorts of goals. A good way to start the year is to create a better budget in 2018. Below, we review nine ways you can budget better for this year:
Calculate your Income
Better safe than sorry! It’s better to have a tighter budget than to overspend. Calculate your average monthly budget based on the previous 12 months’ expenses.
Whether you have a fixed monthly income, or if you work a varying schedule on a per-hour basis, calculate your income based on a month with less income, just to be on the safe side.
Remember to calculate the net income after your taxes and other expenses have been deducted!
Calculate your Bills
If you’re just starting to budget, reference your bank statements for a rough idea of your income and spending habits.
Paying your bills on time will keep extra fees to the minimum, and setting up automatic bill payments can help ensure you’re on time.
Track your Spending
Grocery lists, income and expenditure-tracking apps and similar resources can help you create your budget.
Categorise your spending and keep track of how much you have spent on which category so that you will not be spending more than you planned.
Save for Emergencies
You never know when your car might break down of if your company might lay you off. Try to set aside an emergency fund worth between 3-6 months of your income for extra security.
If you can’t squirrel away that much, it’s okay to start small when preparing for a rainy day. One of the most important keys to saving success is to do everything you can to put your savings on auto-pilot rather than having to manually move your money around.
The more you handle it, the more likely you are to hand it over.
Save on Food
Consumers usually spend between 10-25 percent of their disposable income on food, depending on their total income, the proportion increased by an about an additional 5 percent in 2017.
With prices increasing daily, cooking from home can be far more economical than dining out.
With careful planning and grocery lists, you can even reduce your weekly food expenditures from $250.00 to just $75.00.
Track Your Credit
Keep your credit score healthy by relying less on credit payments. The less credit you use, the safer you are within your spending limits.
Less credit use can be a positive factor in obtaining bank loans since it helps assure bankers that you can properly repay your loans.
The 50/30/20 rule can benefit many of us. Ensure that 50 percent of your income goes to bills, rental fees and basic living expenses. Another 30 should ideally pay toward our “wants,” such as an unlimited data plan or Netflix subscription.
The final 20 percent of your income should ideally be tucked into savings. Keep your budget list visible so that you can refer back to it frequently!
Invest in Retirement
Budgeting for future retirement can help save as much as feasibly possible. Ensure that you are contributing to your superannuation and maximizing that benefit.
Saving a little bit now for the days ahead can go a long way in the years to come
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This information (including taxation) is general in nature and does not consider your individual circumstances or needs. Do not act until you seek professional advice and consider a Product Disclosure Statement.
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The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author; they are not reflective or indicative of RI Advice’s position and are not to be attributed to RI Advice.