Winter wardrobe refresh

Winter refresh

 

Winter refresh by budgetmumblog featuring a chambray top
I have started doing an audit of my own winter wardrobe to see what I need to add to it.  Once I started looking I thought I would show you guys how many great items are out there for a reasonable price that will refresh your winter wardrobe for under $30!

Chambray top
kmart.com.au

Top
kmart.com.au

Sweater
target.com.au

Emerson cardigan
bigw.com.au

Sweater
cottonon.com

Jacket
kmart.com.au

Denim jacket
cottonon.com

Waterfall waistcoat
kmart.com.au

Legging
target.com.au

Legging
target.com.au

Ankle booties
bigw.com.au

Hat
kmart.com.au

Scarve
kmart.com.au

Scarve
cottonon.com

Rocky Road

This is my favourite rocky road recipe – and undisputedly the most asked for food to bring (anywhere).  Kids love it, adults love it, I love it and you will to.  It’s not a normal rocky road, it was crafted for my nut anaphylactic niece.  And she loves it! If you follow me on instagram you will see I recently made it for my babe’s 1st birthday as always it was a hit with the young and old!

easy, child friendly, nut free rocky road recipe
Easy, child friendly, nut free rocky road
Ingredients

500 g cooking chocolate
200 g snakes (chopped into 1cm pieces)
100 g marsh mellows (I brought mini’s so I didn’t need to cut them up)
1 cup rice bubbles

Method

1. Melt 100g chocolate – spread a very thin layer onto bottom of the baking tray
2. Melt 300g chocolate – mix in snakes, marsh mellows and rice bubbles – layer on top of the baking tray chocolate.
3. Melt final 100g of chocolate and drizzle on top to join together.
4. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
5. Chop into rough pieces.
6. Enjoy!

Let me know when you give it a go – I hope you love it as much as my family does!

Budget Mum Blog

How to best spend your Tax Return

It’s Tax Season!!! What are you doing with your money?  Planning on spending it on new boots or maybe a weekend getaway?  According to the ATO the average tax return is $2300.  If spent right it could be worth a whole lot more!  Read this to make you tax return last longer and save you a lot of money long term.  How to best spend your tax return.

How to spend your tax return wisely
How to spend your tax return wisely

This is the list of how to save money long term by spending your tax return wisely.  The average tax return is $2300 but it doesn’t matter if yours is smaller or larger the most important thing is that you spend your return wisely, and even better do it year after year.   Reducing debt, not only reduces how much you are paying off but it also reduced how much interest you are paying which in many cases over the life of the loan can be DOUBLE the loan value! Here are some ideas on how you could spend or save your return.  Either way you will save on interest and be prepared for the year ahead.

How to spend your Tax Return
  1. Mortgage -the average Australian mortgage is $444,000 (Australian Finance group) If you put your tax return into your mortgage you will save $7125 in interest and 3 months off your loan.  Imagine doing this EVERY tax return?  If you are at the beginning of your mortgage you will save more money and more time! You can work out how much you would save long term here.
  2. Credit card – the average Australian Credit Card debt is according to ASIC $4300, if you make a payment off your credit card you would bring down your credit card debit in half, HALF.  Meaning if you pay it down to $2000 and keep you payments the same you could be debt free a whole lot quicker.
  3. Use it for Christmas – put your money in a bank account with low or no account keeping fees.  And use it for Christmas or a up coming event (birthday, etc) something that you normally wouldn’t plan for, or mean to plan for but it sneaks up on you.  But this year instead of reaching for the credit card plan ahead and keep ahead of your debt.  And enjoy a Christmas both interest and guilt free.
  4. Stock up your emergency fund.  If you don’t have an emergency fund then you need one ASAP.  The first step in lowering debt is by not adding to your debt.  So by having a fully stocked emergency fund you are covered in the case of emergency.  When you previously had to use a credit card, now you have the money in a side account.
  5. Set up a term deposit.  If you decided to bank your $2300 in a term deposit and not touch it, you could earn up to 3% interest.  That means you could make $69 interest, not a ton of interest.  But if you do this year after year and add your tax return every year, not only would you get more interest but you would get a higher interest rate.  This option is great if you are starting out and looking for a home loan in future years.  You need to prove you have a saving history to secure a home loan and this is the perfect way to start out.

In future years you can add to your tax return every pay cycle.  By even adding $10 a week you are adding $500 to your tax return.  This is compulsory savings and all it takes is a form submitted with your pay office.  The reason you may want to do this is that you aren’t getting the money back until your tax return.  So you don’t ever have it in your hand and you won’t be getting it until you lodge your tax return.  Perfect for people that can cover their living costs but are hopeless at saving.  I use to do it when I worked my first job at Coles.  I always paid $10 a week extra, my older sister worked in the pay office and told me this is what I had to do, and so I did it.  She knew I couldn’t save money to save my life.  So for the whole of high school and through uni I paid extra tax (long after she left).  And how I wish I spent it more wisely…

Budget Mum Blog

How to pay off $10,000 in a year

When I was younger I would see something I liked and I would buy it.  It really was that simple – I had a lovely lifestyle and a huge amount of debt. I had great friends, we would do breakfast, go shopping, go clubbing . Whatever we wanted and then occasionally I would go to Uni. But that lovely lifestyle costed a lot of money that I wasn’t making.  I worked part-time at Coles but that wasn’t enough for my champagne lifestyle so I got myself a credit card, and then another one.  You can see a pattern – I don’t need to go on!  But fast forward to when I met my now husband and things were not looking great for my finances.  So I had to pay off $10000 in a year.

I was roughly in about $23, 000 debt. A couple of credit cards, a car loan and a loan from my sister (I had a lovely 6 week European holiday!) and I was tapped out! My now husband (My Minister of Finance) was mortified! So I needed to clean up my act quickly! We bought a house after dating for 8 months, and we were in tough times because I was finishing uni and had to drop back my hours at work.  So after I graduated it was time to as my father would say “tighten the belt” and sort out my finances. So I focused on paying off as much as I could as fast as I could – I paid off just over $12,000 in the first year after graduation.  Here is how I paid $10000 of debt off.

paying off debt quickly
paying off debt quickly

How to pay off debt

  1. Set a goal and stick with it.  Don’t stick your head in the sand and think that it will go away or you will win lotto.  Chances are you won’t and you will have wasted precious time.
  2. Live within your means! – no more credit cards!!! Cut them up – that’s it. If your serious you need to stop over spending ASAP.
  3. Start and use your budget ASAP. (You will need roughly $200 per week just for debt)
  4. I combined my credit cards into one – massive help.  Although it’s annoying I also shopped around for rates.  I was a stickler for interest free and then a month before it ran out I would apply for another interest free and transfer over.  Is it a hassle? YES Is it worth the hassle? YES YES YES. By not paying any interest you are paying off your debt quicker and you can pay off more.  So you are saving money on interest but you are also saving money on fees by only having one card.
  5. Combine other debts if you can or have to, but only if you are going to be able to pay them out and not be penalised or have huge account fees.
  6. prioritise your debt – you will need current balances and the interest rates they are attracting. Also keep in mind any interest free periods that may be close to expiring (the interest rate after the interest free period is often extremely high).  Organise from highest interest down to lowest interest.  If you have two or more debts with the same interest rate organise them from smallest amount to largest amount.
  7. Make a list of the order and amounts to pay off.  Put it up somewhere, in your study, next to your fridge, beside the bed so you have a visual.  I would cross each one off when paid off, so I could see how close I was getting to my goal.
  8. Start paying them off, you will need to have these built into your budget. But by starting with the highest interest rate you are saving future interest, by paying off the smallest amount first is to inspire you to keep going by getting results sooner.
  9. Once you have paid off one, roll that amount into the next debt on your list to keep up momentum.
  10. At the end of your pay week pay week I would always use any extra in my allowance account. (my own spending account – I get $50 per week) To pay off a credit card up to an even $10.  So say my balance was $657.56 on my credit card -over and above anything else I had paid that week I would pay off the $7.56.  Not a massive amount but that was the point.  Out of my little spending account I hardly noticed but it could add up to nearly $500 extra every year that you have paid off!  And if you are paying interest long-term it is even more!
  11. Any extra money goes into the debt – your tax return, overtime, pay rise, side jobs every little bit helps! Check out some side jobs here. I got myself a second job, packing boxes in a factory.  Not the most interesting job in the world but it was flexible hours so 2 afternoons a week I would work after my ‘real job’ for 3 hours. I bought in just under $100 and that went straight on my debt.

So after a tight year I paid off $12,000 from my debt.  I still had a little way to go (ok half) but I beat my goal and I was happy with that.  After that I continued to pay off my debt by using interest free credit cards.  Then I prioritising them and using any extra money to pay them off.  I no longer worked my extra job but instead looked for other ways to make money at home and continued to pay off as much as possible.

I hope this inspires you to start paying off your debts so you can start saving and living! Once you have paid off your debt it is a wonderful feeling to be able to buy something knowing that it is all yours!

Do you have any other tips on paying off your debt quickly? Happy saving! I hope this helps you pay off $10000 in a year.

Budget Mum Blog

Why it’s OK to order your groceries online.

When online groceries first started to be available – I thought “you would have to be soooo lazy to do that! How hard is it to do the groceries!”  Then my sister explained that she did it – and I re-thought it!  Occasionally I think groceries online is great – it helps stick to a shopping list and it helps when spare time in non existent. Why it’s OK to order your groceries online.

Save money by doing your groceries online.
Save money by doing your groceries online.

While I am not saying that I do my groceries online all the time – I like to shop around and rotate grocery stores. But I have used it when I had little spare time or when I had a budget to stick to.

You still get all special prices

If you collect your groceries you don’t have to pay for delivery.  You still get all the catalogue specials, however some items are charged at premium pricing which is about 7% extra.

Save your time.

Can you put a price on your time?  Sometimes it is great to out and do the groceries,  but sometimes it is too much to fit into life.  You can’t put a price on making more family time that isn’t being stressed at the grocery store.  You make a time to pick them up and that way you don’t need to pay for delivery!

CONVENIENCE

It is so easy to do the groceries online, and they have a favourites list for the items you buy weekly.  And you can shop directly from the catalogue so you don’t miss any specials.

No impulse shopping

No chocolate that accidentally slips into the trolley. (Unless you want it to)  For me this is always the killer, exactly what always happens!  I can not explain how many times this happens – but with doing it online you can see your total as you go.  Easy to remove items and super easy to stay in budget!

Budget Mum Blog

So why do you love online grocery shopping?  I find it’s sooo easy to stay in budget. 

$60 Weekly Grocery Shop

This is my BUDGET $60 WEEKLY GROCERY SHOP and shopping list.  This is the perfect shop for when you are totally skint and just need to make it until the next pay.  I wouldn’t recommend this as a weekly shopping plan but it could be done monthly to get you through.  I have included everything you need to be able to make the suggested meals, but I suggest you “shop your pantry” first to see if you can make any further savings or make these suggestions even tastier.  If you already have some of these ingredients at home – perfect!  I would suggest you buy some extra fruit or meat for lunches or some extra cereal with your extra money.  All of these prices were from Coles Online in Queensland – so in store prices may be cheaper.

$60 budget weekly grocery shopping list & ideas

$60 BUDGET WEEK

BUDGET Dinners

  1. Tuna & Corn Pasta (Tin tuna, tin corn with 500 g pasta and white sauce)(White Sauce – milk, flour, margarine & cheese)
  2. Sausages & 500 g Vegetable
  3. Quiche with Ham and Tomato (Make own pastry, Quiche -4 eggs, milk, cheese ham and roma tomato)
  4. Mince Pasta (500 g pasta & mince & pasta sauce, grate cheese on top)
  5. Fried Rice with veg, egg & chicken (500 g rice, soy sauce, 300 g chicken breast, 2 fried eggs & 500 g frozen veg)
  6. Stir fry Chicken & Veg (600 g chicken, 500 g vegetable)
  7. Vegetable fritters (500 g vegetables, 2 eggs, flour and dash milk. Fried in margarine)

BUDGET Lunches

  • Jam Sandwiches
  • Cheese Sandwiches

BUDGET Breakfast

  • Oats
  • Toast

BUDGET Snacks

  • Yoghurt
  • Carrot Sticks

4 Eggs left over – either boiled with lunches or with some sugar, vinegar and bi carb soda at home you could make Piklets or Jam Drops

As I said before this is not meant to be “eating plan”  I understand that it carbohydrate heavy.  But if you are feeding a family on a budget this is the kind of eating plan that would help you get through the TIGHTEST of weeks. I would also recommend looking at your butchers and Aldi to see if you can buy cheaper there. I would love to hear from you if you have tried my $60 weekly grocery shop and how it went with your family!

Budget Mum Blog

Good Luck!  What are your go to budget meals?

How to save money when preparing to have a baby

.Having a baby is a very exciting time – but it is also a very expensive time! So here are some tips on buying what you need and skipping what you don’t need!  People are very generous when it comes to babies. So don’t be afraid to borrow items or get given second hand.  You have 9 months to get ready so start looking early and be creative with how you go about collecting everything you need. How to save money when preparing to have a baby.

budget set up for baby
How to save money when setting up for babies

Saving money when preparing to have a baby

My first suggestion is to try to keep your buying to a minimum until your baby shower.  If you hold your baby shower around 6/7 months it still gives you plenty of time to buy other items you may not of received. Don’t be afraid to give a specific list of what you would like to receive.  So people buy you things you actually want and need. People often like to put in together to buy larger items and this can work in your favour, so don’t leave these off your list.

If you need to buy everything as you don’t have anyone to borrow anything from consider second hand for the larger items. Ebay and Gumtree can be your best friend, once babies outgrow things people are often keen to reclaim the room that they take up so will sell them for cheap.  Be sure to buy gender neutral furniture and prams so when the time comes you can also resell!  Nearly all baby items are washable so don’t be afraid of second hand – most baby seats, bassinets, swings and prams unclip for easy washing and line drying!

NECESSITIES
  1. Cot – This is a need but not necessarily straight away.  If you are getting a bassinet or borrowing one your little one will be sleeping in that for at least 6 weeks if not longer.  Sturdy wooden cots can be sanded and painted again and again. So don’t discount a second hand older cot (just double check that it still matches the safety requirements.)
  2. Car Seat – A safe car seat is obviously a must.  If the outlay is too much for a capsule you can rent them from Kidsafe or local baby stores. A capsule is the safe option for 0-6 month olds and you can remove them from the car in the capsule. So this saves money by then buying a car seat once they are older – and then only needed a car seat that will last longer.  It is illegal to sell used car seats (it may of been in an accident and no longer be safe) but you can borrow them.  Make sure you shop around, Target for example sell quality brands for less because their appearances and fabrics differ.
  3. Pram – A pram is needed to get your baby around easily.  Big departments stores like Big W and Target often have big named brands for considerable saving so take advantage and put it on lay-by.  Another option is second hand – prams such as city select are easy to clean.  All fabric can come apart and can be washed so this is another option to save money.
  4. Wraps & Clothes – a definite necessity.  I would recommend 10 outfits of 0000 to start with and 6 wraps.  You will still receive gifts once the baby is born so don’t be tempted to go crazy before the baby arrives.  Clothes and wraps generally wear really well and so do not be afraid of second hand.  It is lovely to buy new because they are so little but they grow so quickly – some outfits only fit for 3-4 weeks.  So when you buy them second hand they may of only been worn once or twice, it’s great saving.  Look around for bulk packs where people sell all their 0000 clothes together for even bigger savings.  Just wash before hand.
  5. Nappies & Wipes – long term if you are looking to save I recommend re-usable nappies (Check this out) But newborns generally fit best into newborn nappies so buy a box before the big day.  I wouldn’t buy more that 2 boxes because your baby may grow quickly and then you are left with nappies that no longer fit.  Wait for nappies to go on special – this happens regularly so check catalogues for the best buys.
Budget ways to set up for baby's arrival
Budget ways to set up for baby’s arrival
MAYBE
  1. Baby bath sling – These are reasonably cheap and make it a lot easier to bathe them.  A bath is not necessary as they will grow out in a couple of months, a bath sling will fit into a sink if necessary.
  2. Change Mat – these are the foam cut out that sits onto a change table. It can sit anywhere flat and make it easier to change the baby.  It can sit on the floor or on set of drawers.  A whole change table takes up a lot of room and doesn’t have another purpose after the baby has grown up.
  3. Swing/bouncer – it’s great to have somewhere to put your baby that isn’t their bed! Sounds obvious but its important, you can’t put a newborn on a seat! A swing that has the option to vibrate and swing is perfect for babies with wind! They are not cheap and not essential but are useful to getting things done in the first couple of months.  If you have a friend happy to lend you one before buying one if preferable babies either love or hate them!
  4. Washers – I found washers the perfect size when they are little for spit up and burping. Smaller amounts of washing and cheap to buy in baby multipacks.

Budget Mum Blog

What did you find were essentials when buying baby equipment? I hope you save money when preparing to have a baby!

 

Stop wasting money on clothes.

When you are trying to saving money – many people often think saving money on clothes means shopping at Kmart and not getting anything of quality.  But actually shopping to save is quite the opposite.  Long term you will save a lot more money if you buy things that will stand the test of time in quality, construction and style.  So let me show you how to stop wasting money on clothes.

save money on clothes
Save money when buying clothes

BUT first you need to clean out your closet.  Like always if you have a messy, unorganised wardrobe then this is half your problem. Clean out all your clothes, I mean everything.  Anything that you don’t wear or doesn’t fit get rid of it.  Sell it or donate it but move it out of the way.  If you have a maybe pile, put it into a spare room or space.  If you don’t use them in 12 months get rid of them too!  A clean and easy to use wardrobe will make it easy to find clothes and wear a range of clothes instead of the same old clothes that are at the front.

save money buying clothes
Having an organised wardrobe helps you save money in the long term
Once you are left with things you actually wear – make a list of what you need and what you want.  Proiritise what you need sooner rather than later and ask your self this questions
  • I don’t own at least 3 things in my wardrobe already that it will match with?
  • Will I change my mind when I get home?
  • I don’t have an event/occasion coming up soon that I will wear it to?
  • Does it have special cleaning instructions, that will turn me off washing it and wearing it?
  • Is this item poor quality and will not last long?
  • Do I have to wear special underwear that I will stop me wearing it regularly (Eg Spanx or strapless bra)?
  • Do I need to lose weight to wear it regularly?
  • Do I need to put it on my credit card to afford the item?
If you answer YES to any of these questions, put it back, you shouldn’t waste your money on this! Then ask yourself these questions…
  • It this item overly trendy and I will only wear it one season?
  • Does this item something that I will get sick of quickly and stop wearing?

If this item cheap enough, then definitely consider it for a quick and easy update to your wardrobe but if it expensive and seasonal consider not buying it because chances are you will not get the value from the item.

What to look for when shopping
  • Neutral colours that will go with a lot in your existing wardrobe
  • Fabric that is easy to care for
  • Quality fabric that is going to last a long time
  • Classic styles that will mix and match with existing wardrobe
  • Quality stores that have a good reputation and rewards programs
  • Quality over brand names
  • Markdowns that offer good savings
  • Items out of season to maximise savings
  • Investigate shops you may not normally shop at (eg Target)
  • Don’t disregard buying second hand – EBay, second hand stores and garage sales in wealthy areas all offer high quality items heavily reduced.

When looking to buy clothes, wear suitable underwear and shoes to get a proper appreciation of what the clothes will look like when you are wearing them out.

Look for classic cuts and quality fabrics. Every summer in the January sales I buy a couple of tops that are in $100 range.  Not something I would normally spend but I have found that these tops have become my go-to I wear them to work and out and every time someone comments on how nice they are.  While these aren’t in my budget regularly they have all out lasted the Kmart tops that I buy regularly to ‘fill up’ my wardrobe and all wash and wear a lot better too!

stop wasting money
Stop wasting money on clothes

I hope this gives you some ideas how to stop wasting money on clothes and start saving money!

Budget Mum Blog

How to use re-usable nappies and save

I use re-usable nappies for a number of reasons but the one I keep going back to is the cost.  If you are on the fence about this I suggest you buy a trial pack and give it a go – I think you will be pleasantly surprised about how easy it is!  I hope you learn to use re-usable nappies and save money!

Save money with re-usable modern cloth diapers
How to save money with re-usable nappies
Its not that gross – 

When I pregnant and thought about changing nappies I thought number 3 and poo-explosions – the worse case scenario.  But it was/is rarely the case.  Yes they happen but honestly it’s a bucket load more 1’s than 2’s and whole lot less of the 3’s!  Using  re-usable nappies is exactly like changing a disposable nappy, so not any extra gross.

Bamboo liners – makes it uber easy peasy.

When I use the re-usable nappies I normally also use a flushable bamboo liner. The brand of nappy I use Bonnibuns doesn’t require these at all. I only started using them because to be honest I was a bit queazy about re-usable nappies in the beginning – but they are so easy I continued using them.  You lift them out of the nappy and flush, the liquid goes into the nappy liner and solid stays on the bamboo liner and into the toilet!  I use these

Easy clean – 1 load of washing a night with a dash of washing liquid.

Nearly all re-usable nappies recommend only a small amount of washing liquid (about half of a normal load) so there is no build up and the liners stay super absorbent! With my nappies the shell is super quick drying but the liner takes a little longer (liner clips out) you can buy extra liners if you need to.  As I said above I use bamboo liners most of the time but when I haven’t and it was a number 2 I flipped as much as I could into the toilet and washed as normal (no pre-soaking needed just washing machine).  Once I dried them on the line I couldn’t tell which liner it was – so they wear and wash very well!

Multi – fit so you can use these for 2 years (or however long your babe is in nappies!

Disclaimer: I did use new-born nappies.  Think of all the land fill you will save if you use re-aseable nappies! Bonnibuns come with snap clips which are super easy and clips last longer than velcro on other brands! My babe has chunky legs but a small waist and they fit him no problems.

They are Cute

If you have a summer baby like me, a nappy and singlet and away you go.  Heaps of different colours so you can match your singlet!

Cost

I own 12 nappies (which I find more than enough).  I use on average 6 per day, and I still use a disposable at night.  Bonnibuns come with an extra liner for night time, but I have never used them as Paddy sleeps through and we have never had a leak with disposables overnight.  (If it ain’t broke – I’m not fixing it, or in this case making any changes to my baby’s sleeping patterns!) So I wash every night and I have 6 on the clothes line to dry the next day and 6 ready to go) The original outlay is about $270, a box of Huggies is about $28 on special.  So a set of re-usables equals 9 1/2 boxes of Huggies! Trust me 9 boxes of Huggies isn’t going to get you through 2 years like a set of re-usables will.  And you can re-use your re-usable nappies for all of your children or neices and nephews.  Getting cheaper and cheaper ever time!  If you choose to use the bamboo liners they are about 10c each and a disposable nappy is about 40c, so still ongoing cost but as I said before optional and not necessary.

These are my best reasons why you should at least give them a go.  Most brands have trial packs that you can buy and see for yourself how great and easy to use they are!  Let me know if you love them as much as me!

Budget Mum Blog

 

Why you should LOVE your budget!

.Do you have a budget?  When I was younger I thought budgets were for boring people. People who had a depressing financial outlook, people that needed help.  I didn’t need a budget (so I thought) so why would I use one? But budgets are for everyone, are you to love your budget?

love and use your budget
Learn how to LOVE your budget
Why I didn’t want to use a budget

At first it is daunting to find out how much you spend of things like take away or groceries.  These were our two categories that really got away on us when I didn’t use our budget.  I was almost defensive about our spending and our spending habits and didn’t want things to change because I thought I was happy.  But deep down I wasn’t happy I was embarrassed.  As our income increased I was happy still “making it by” instead we should of been saving.  It is important that as your income increases your spending doesn’t also increase without you noticing.

Why you need a budget

As I have got older I have found that having a budget is liberating.  Yes you heard that right, LIBERATING.  Fun – nearly.  We use our budget to track our spending, it is how we have been able to go on holidays, buy our house and now live on one income.  My point is a budget can be useful at any stage of your finances for any reason.  It can be a way to identify areas to reduce to save for fun events or a way to build a much needed emergency fund so you are finally going forward.

It is comforting to know that you will have enough money at the end of the month to pay the mortgage. But it is also rewarding to live your life knowing that money is no longer a stressful part of it.  Once you start making changes and getting closer to your goal it can be addictive and fun to make a game out of making more changes to get closer.

We use our budget in track all financial actions in our house.   However once you are committed to your goal the implementation and rewards are awesome!

  1. Set a goal.  This could be anything, it may just be to make your money last all month.  Or is could be saving for something large or preparing for financial situation to change (such a going to one income).
  2. Commit.  Everyone in your family who handles the money needs to commit.  It may just be you, but you can’t be half in – it’s all or nothing.  Even if you have teenagers it may be worth sharing your goal with them so you don’t self sabotage.
  3. Keep financial track.  I recommend doing this for at least 1 month.  Keeping track of all financial transactions in the house help you see where you money goes and how you can save money in certain areas.  I know that some areas will truly shock you.  But this is a good thing, knowledge is power.
  4. Add up year/monthly and weekly bills. Make a full list – car registration, insurance, health insurance, school fees, dental work, credit cards, mobile phone bill, maintenance for car.  Everything that is a necessity in your life.  Add it all up for a year and divide by how often you get your pay so you know how much to save each pay cycle.
  5. Make your budget. Referring to your goal and your financial track record work out your budget.  Don’t forget to work into your bills fund, and how much you want to save (if thats you goal).  They key is to not slash areas of your budget.  If you want to stick to your budget your need to make it realistic.  If your money doesn’t stretch as far as you would like then you need to make some lifestyle changes.  Shop around for big bills such as insurances or phone and internet providers.
  6. Implement your budget and stick to it.  This will be the hardest step, but once you know how quickly things add up (eg $300 on takeaway because your lazy or unorganised.) You can then realise how attainable that family holiday.  To keep inspired set up an inspiration board to show what your goal is. You can make a physical one on your fridge or set one as your screen saver on your phone so you have a reason to stick it out.
  7. LOVE YOUR BUDGET. Once your into your budget and you have your goal and you start to see that your goal is achievable, you will love what you and your budget have done for your lifestyle.
  8. Re-evaluate your budget. Once your goal is near you can afford to “put yourself under pressure” and get even better results.  Every 6 months a good shake up is refreshing and helpful.  Its important to keep your budget relevant to your life so you are more likely to keep at it.

Do you use a budget? Let me know how you use your budget at your house and how it has made a difference in your life!