2020 has had a far-reaching impact on all Australians and has undoubtedly thrown many of us a lot of curveballs. Whether you have been directly impacted by job or income loss, a fall in the value of your superannuation or investments, or even if you’re using this time to bunker down and get ahead, budgeting has never been more important.

Here are our top five tips for getting on top of your budget:

  • Maintain some isolation spending habits

    A silver lining that has come from the recent period of isolation for some of us is a reduction in what we spend on entertainment, dining out and holidays. While you don’t have to cut these things from your life forever, being able to identify and reduce non-essential spending is one of the easiest ways you can save. Over the last few months, we learnt that we can meet friends for a walk outdoors rather than for an expensive drink or meal out. We learnt that sometimes it is enough to holiday at home, enjoying the simple things in life at a slower pace and appreciating time with loved ones. Assessing what we really need – and what we can cut back on – is an important step in reaching financial goals.

  • Expect the unexpected

    One of the most important aspects of planning for your financial future is to try to be prepared for anything. If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that you never know what is around the corner and having a healthy amount of savings set aside for emergencies and unforeseen circumstances can help give you and your family a security buffer in uncertain times. The new financial year is an ideal time to create some good savings habits and goals if you don’t already have them in place – such as a household budget, savings targets or even a new approach to your finances, such as bucket budgeting.

  • Use a budgeting tool

    Review your income and bills when creating a new budget. This will make sure you have a realistic view of your disposable income, where you can cut back spending, and where you may be able to save more. Just the process itself of creating a budget can help you to think about your finances in the longer-term and feel more in control.

    There are some great apps and tools you can use to help get your started, such as an online budget planner calculator. Or, if apps aren’t your style, simply jot your income and expense down on paper or in an Excel spreadsheet – whatever works best for you.

  • Strip out unnecessary costs, no matter how small

    During the lockdown period, you may have accumulated some new ongoing costs, such as special groceries or meal deliveries, entertainment or fitness apps, or home-schooling subscriptions. As we transition to our new normal, take some time to review what you still need and if there is anything you can now drop. It all adds up!

  • Stick to your guns

    Now that you’ve done all the groundwork to get your budgeting on track for the new financial year, don’t let it go to waste. The key to successful budgeting long-term is holding yourself accountable. Whether you keep a spending journal by writing down your spending manually or enlist the help of a free spending tracker app, the idea is to stay in control over your finances

Understandably for many people, budgeting may not be foremost on your mind as you’re simply trying to stay afloat. Talk to us about some of the options we have available to help.

Need help budgeting or managing your expenses? Speak to one of our highly qualified and experienced lenders.

Any advice given is general only and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Please therefore consider whether it is appropriate for you.

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