Do you find that in some aspects of your life you are super-disciplined, such as eating well during the week and regularly attending the gym? However in other areas you just can’t seem to get on top of things, like money?
For many of us, getting our personal finances in order comes at the bottom of our priority list because it is too hard or simply boring!
If you have trouble making your wages last the month and are sick of living off canned tuna in the week prior to your next pay packet arriving, here are some tips on creating a budget that will help you stop living from week to week!
1. Include the essential stuff first
The easiest way to create your budget for the first time is to look at what your monthly income and expenditure has been in the past, based on your bank account and credit card statements. This will also help you work out where you may have gone wrong in the past with your spending!
For each month, include separate line items in your budget for the regular, non-negotiable items, including wages/income and payments for rent, mortgage and car repayments, private health insurance, telephone, internet, electricity, gym membership, car registration and insurance, etc.
2. Determine your weekly cash requirements
Do you get paid weekly or fortnightly? In this case, it can be helpful to create a weekly or fortnightly budget to help identify in which weeks your expenses may be greater than your income. That way you will know which weeks you need to set aside funds for expenses to be paid the following week.
3. Investigate your discretionary spending
Once you have an idea of your essential payments, you will then be able to calculate what funds are available each month to spend on meals, entertainment and discretionary items.
Compare this amount to what you have been spending on discretionary items – is it more than what you should be spending? Ask yourself, what items can I reduce or eliminate altogether, such as that second takeaway coffee every afternoon? Eliminating this coffee will save you $5 a day, which can add more than $100 a month to your savings! That is more than $1,200 a year.
4. Decide on your savings goals
Are you planning for a big holiday or a house deposit? Make saving a certain amount of money another non-negotiable item in your budget. Once you have calculated what funds are left at the end of each month, it will be much easier to work out a realistic savings plan that you can stick to.
5. Have an abundance mindset
This might seem a little la-la, but trust me that mindset is very important when it comes to finance. Stressing about living from week to week creates a scarcity mindset, and you will find it very difficult to break the cycle and think beyond your next pay.
Knowing your limits by preparing a budget is the first step in taking back control and eliminating stress. You then need to trust in the universe that you have exactly what you need when it comes to money.
Having a mindset of abundance when it comes to your financial health will have a ripple effect on all other areas of your life. It will give you the freedom to create the lifestyle of your dreams because you won’t be constantly thinking about when you are next getting paid.
What method do I recommend for recording your budget? Microsoft Excel is fantastic. Never will you have to worry about adding and subtracting by yourself with this program!
So go on, make your financial health a priority. Happy budgeting!
Guest post by the beautiful Amanda Coneyworth
Amanda is on a mission to inspire professional women to be their happiest and healthiest self. An accountant in the busy corporate world, Amanda knows first-hand the challenges women face to prioritise their wellbeing and she is passionate about changing this mindset.
Amanda proudly admits that she is a Lorna Jane addict and she is a regular contributor to the Move Nourish Believe blog. She loves homemade Kombucha, Bikram yoga and lifting weights at the gym.
Amanda writes at Gorgeous Presence where she shares practical advice inspired from her very own health and wellness journey.
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