What’s happening? How come I’ve run out of money?
Here are a few simple budgeting ideas to help you plan for the future.
When you plan, you need to be clear with yourself about your income and expenses. Know how much you need for the day-to-day and for the regular and irregular bills. And be honest if you need some ‘play money’ so you don’t feel hard done by.
If a budget spreadsheet just confuses you, group some things together and allocate some money into a pot for each.
Day-to-day is pretty individual. It may include lunch or groceries; petrol or public transport; a newspaper or a streaming service; and perhaps some magazines (or maybe find them in the library instead of buying them …). So work out if $5 is plenty or $50 is comfortable.
Regular bills cover accommodation, transport, food, utilities and communications, as well as annual bills like registrations and car maintenance. All the predictable bills fit in here. Add them up to get your annual amount, divide by your number of pays, and put that amount aside each pay.
Irregular bills for necessities like shoes and work clothes, the plumber or electrician, car repairs, or perhaps even replacing the fridge (oh no!) may need their own savings pot. If you stash away a consistent modest amount, when the unexpected happens you will have - at least - the beginning of an option. What would this include? Does food actually belong in this pot?
Put some money aside for donations. Some may even ‘reduce your taxable income’! Consider what you think is important, what you value and want to support. And plan how you will contribute to that. (And perhaps include some actual volunteering as well at your school or church …) [If you are donating regularly to a Lutheran congregation, try REG.]
It’s an idea to also have some money at the ready for someone’s kid’s raffle to support their school or to sponsor a friend on a charity walk. Maybe this would come out of your day-to-day? It’s totally up to you!
‘Play money’ is for whatever takes your fancy. It helps you feel like you’re not totally missing out. You might want a regular ice cream, to see a movie or other entertainment, or buy something by a favourite author! Play money is at the ready for any occasion you deem is worth it.
And then there’s the saving for a dream – something beyond the horizon – a house deposit, a trip deposit, a dream bicycle, a kid’s education, your education … Can you save for the dream in a pot that is harder to get at?
Put the plan into action. Work out where each pot of money goes.
Arrange for the savings to go from your pay into the pots automatically and regularly. And each savings pot can have its own account (that has to help).
An online LLL Savings Account may work for you! LLL Savings Accounts can be split up (and you can personalise the account names individually) – which might be useful for you and pays a variable interest rate!
Adjust and enjoy :)
As you go along, you will see if your plan is working. Does your day-to-day money run out or is there always some left over? Are you caught short with your bill money? Are you appreciating your play money?
Rearrange and change to improve your plans. Honestly, you are in charge of your money!
With automatic regular savings, your budget plans have more than a good chance of succeeding!
Having a plan to save can feel amazing. Enjoy looking forward to having enough money for what you need – and even for your dreams!
This advice is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation, needs or objectives. Please consider the Disclosure Documents to decide if this product is right for you.