The easiest and best way to take control of your finances is through budget planning, but how many of us actually do it? It’s something we all know we should do, however, so many of us throw in the towel (or simply ‘forget’) before we’ve even reached our financial goals.
So what can you do to ensure you stay on top of your budget?
Budgeting is for everyone, regardless of your age, background or wealth, so there is no excuse why you shouldn’t be budgeting yourself. Budgeting gives you a clearer picture of your current and future financial position. It can also help you to identify your spending habits and make improvements where needed.
People create budget plans for many different reasons, such as saving up for a new car, securing their financial future or to pay a child’s education fees. Setting a solid target for yourself will help you stick to your plan and reach your goals.
You can make a start by having a think about your goals and what you would like to budget for.
Budget planning is essentially a process that ensures your expenditure is less than what you are pulling in. Budgeting doesn’t (and shouldn’t) have to be boring, which is why it is important to find a method that keeps you focused on your goals.
Some people like to use budgeting apps, while others prefer to do it the old-school way by writing down their expenses. You may also wish to use your bank as a means of budgeting. For example you can create automated transactions to your savings account each month, or open a high interest savings account.
Regardless of your budgeting method, you should keep hold of any relevant receipts for future tax planning and deductions
Budget planning many only make a small difference to begin with, but the quicker you start the process, the quicker you’ll notice a difference in your overall financial position … and hopefully watch your accounts grow.
Once you have identified your goals and budgeting method, it is time to create a personalised strategy that is appropriate for your business and lifestyle. Choosing a suitable time frame, for example monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly budgeting is the best way to do this. This may also be determined by the timing of your payroll and/or when your personal salary is remunerated. Of course, it is also important to assess and adapt your plan as circumstances change to ensure you stay on the right track and reach your goals.
The next step is to assess how much of your weekly/monthly salary goes where. You may wish to start with the new 50-20-30 budget rule; 50% of your income goes toward necessities (rent, electricity bills, groceries) 20% goes into your savings and 30% is for personal use (gym, dining out, holidays etc.).
This method certainly won’t suit everyone, but it could be a good place for you to start and make improvements. We strongly advise you to speak with your accountant who will help you establish achievable goals and identify the right processes to accomplish them.
How are your budgeting skills? Is budget planning something you need to improve on? There’s no time like the present to get started. If you would like some help with budgeting or your accounts, please call Walker Hill on 07 3367 3155.