I may have titled this article the every woman budget but really, it applies to everyone…
Your future is created by what you do today, and I think part of creating a secure future where you’ve got choices is supported by your finances and planning ahead. And a budget it a great way to get control of your cash and make it work for you.
Here are my six tips to staying liquid and making sure you’ve got money when you need it:
- Pay yourself first – when you get paid, put money aside into your savings. And then leave it there; it’s not for dipping into. First instinct might be to pay the bills and the mortgage etc. but you do that and you’ll have nothing left for the most important thing – your savings!
- Set up a ‘bills’ account – I worked out all my expenses for the year (e.g. insurance, groceries, car, mobile phone bills etc.) and then divided by 26 to work out the cost per fortnight. That fortnightly amount was then paid into my bills account so that when the bills came in, there was money ready and waiting to pay them. It wasn’t a mad scrimmage to pull together funds.
- Give yourself some play money – don’t deprive yourself. It is important to spend a little money on yourself so that you don’t feel like you’re missing out.
- Have different accounts for different reasons – if you keep it all in one account the funds get mixed up and you can’t clearly see what money is going where, and how much money you have for different things.
- Don’t dip into your savings – yes, it is tempting to dip into your savings for some short-term gain or instant pleasure, but you will soon regret it. As challenging as it can be to NOT spend, you’ll be rewarded in the long term. Stay focused on that end savings goal.
- Don’t think about how much you earn, focus on how much you save – we all go through periods of earning more and less. Focus on what you do have (and how much you can save) rather than what you are not earning. Saving something over nothing is always going to be the better option.
One of my favourite resources is MoneySmart (www.moneysmart.gov.au). It’s an initiative of the Australia Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) that’s packed with practical information, calculators and other resources to help you achieve your financial goals.
Image credit here.