5 tips for mastering your budget

by Verve Super

A budget is a plan that helps you identify your spending habits, figure out what’s most important to you and help you set (and hit) your money goals. Essentially, it involves working out how much you earn, how much you spend, and how much you want to save on a regular basis.

And here’s why budgeting is important: a study from UBank found a whopping 86% of Australians have no idea what their monthly expenses are. Why? Well, the most common reason given was that it’s often too hard to calculate where our money is going. 

But taking control of our money doesn’t have to be complex, confusing, or restrictive. Instead, by following a values-based budgeting strategy (a popular approach here at Verve) you can focus your hard-earned money on what matters to you. 

We want to set you up for success, which is why we’re sharing a few quick-fire tips to help you master your budget.

Tip 1: Review your expenses and see if they align with your values

Nope, this isn’t about ditching your morning latte or saying no to every dinner invite. Instead, we think the best budgets make room for whatever you value (cocktails included, if that’s your jam).

But if you’re spending stacks of money on unused gym memberships and streaming services you never watch, it could be time to review where your money is actually going. 

By looking through your recent transactions and checking if your expenses align with your values, you might be able to reduce costs and speed up your progress towards your savings goals. 

Tip 2: Set up separate bank accounts for your different saving goals

As we mentioned before, this step is all about keeping track of your progress towards your savings goals. Instead of having all your savings in one account, slip these funds up into goal-specific accounts. 

That way you can set up direct debits that automatically divide up your income and grow your savings without you having to lift a finger. 

Tip 3: Don’t let a bad week or month cause you to throw in the towel

Life happens and things aren’t always going to go to plan. While it’s important to focus on reaching your goals, it’s just as important to have the resilience to bounce back if things take longer than expected. 

Whether you have a change in income, need to fork out for an unexpected car repair or simply overspend one week, don’t throw your budget out the window. 

Remember, every day is a fresh start! 

Tip 4: Celebrate your small wins along the way

Most importantly, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back every time you get closer to your goals.

At your regular money dates, make sure to find ways to celebrate your wins and progress, whether that’s cooking your favourite meal, catching up with a friend or allocating some extra funds into your splurge account.

Tip 5: Ensure your nearest and dearest are across your goals and budget

You are more likely to achieve your goals just by telling someone about them. But more importantly, if we want to hit our financial goals, often we need the support of others. You may need to wrangle a partner or family member behind your goals in order for you to adhere to your budget. Or, maybe you’ll need the support of friends to switch expensive nights out for Netflix at home. 

When it comes to budgeting, it’s all about getting a plan in place that will sustain you for the long term. Focus on what you value most, find a budgeting method that works for you, and don’t be afraid to adjust your approach along the way.

Discover more budgeting tips and tricks in our free budget guide – nab your copy here.

This blog and associated guide are published by Verve Superannuation Pty Ltd (ABN 65 628 675 169, AFS Representative No. 001268903), which is a Corporate Authorised Representative of True Oak Investments Ltd (ABN 81 002 558 956, AFSL 238184). This blogand associated guide contain general information only and does take into account your personal financial objectives, situation, or needs. Verve Superannuation is not authorised to provide personal financial advice services. It is important for you to consider your personal circumstances, goals, and objectives before making any financial decision and to do your own research. Please consider getting in touch with a professional adviser to access specific advice tailored to your unique situation before making financial decisions.

Verve’s Ultimate Guide to Budgeting was originally posted Feb 2022.

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