Is budgeting a bad word?

Budgeting. Ick. Just the word alone can be cringe worthy. With the release of the federal budget and the end of financial year people are asking for my top budgeting tips and it’s honestly hard to get excited about. But perhaps it’s because we often look at what we’re missing out on rather than what we’re saving for. To start the new financial year positively, let’s flip it and look at a few saving (a much more positive word) practices I’ve seen work for my clients.

Making the exciting part more tangible
What are you saving for? To keep you on track think about how you can make that goal more visible to give yourself encouraging reminders. Use images on the fridge or around your office to remind you of why you’re making sacrifices. Whether it’s having a new kitchen, being on that beach with a cocktail or debt free, imagine how you will feel and use images or descriptive words to keep your goal visible.

Coin collection
This one is more popular amongst blokes who hate small change bulking up their wallets. Skinny jeans have a lot to answer for! But it’s a tactic we can all use to add to our savings. Start collecting all of your change into a box and when it’s full cash it in. It doesn’t bring about that doing-it-tough feeling and it’s surprising how quickly it all adds up. I have a client who does this every year and uses the money for all his Christmas shopping.

Turn it into a challenge
Often people are “saving” but they have no weekly or monthly target. If you truly want to save, set yourself the challenge of a deadline. Not only does this make the calculation of how much you need to save each week clear but is also make it all feel more real.

Don’t pay more than you need to
When did you last review your insurance premiums, utility providers and mortgage? You should review them annually to compare options for potential savings. It’s easy to set up a home loan review with me and I’ll do the legwork for you. A simple phone call to your electricity provider asking about their current offers and any opportunities to reduce your bill will often save you money. Hop online to compare your car and health insurance options – it can save you hundreds each year.

Make spending hard
In today’s world it’s just so easy to spend. Only carry the amount your willing to spend and start being more conscious every time you reach for your wallet.

Set up a savings account that isn’t so accessible to reduce temptations. I have clients who squirrel away savings into an account not attached to a debit card and because it takes three business days to transfer funds into their everyday account they tend not to touch it.

Remember it’s a habit
Changing your spending habits is tough to begin with but saving can become easy. Start saying no to that extra drink and then the lunch out and then the pair of jeans you don’t really need and before long it doesn’t feel like you’re making big sacrifices anymore. Soon enough saving will feel really good and being able to say no can be empowering.