A budget shows you if you are spending more or less than you can afford. It enables you to direct your money to where it matters most, so you can stay on top of bills and start putting money towards your future.
It is helpful to look at the money going in and out across a whole year. Include regular payments such as your rent, phone and electricity, car or public transport. It is helpful to us an app or a website to work out your budget, we recommend Budget Planner.
To work out your budget you should check your bank statements, bills, credit card statements, receipts and shopping dockets, doing this will help you to work out all your expenses. Use your best guess if there iss anything you cannot find or if bill amounts vary across the year.
TIP: Download your bank’s App so you can check your bank balance at least 3 times a week.
Incude the money that you receive or are paid over the time period. This could include your pay from your full-time or part-time job, any casual work, your pension, government benefits, child support payments and any money form of investment. If your income is variable, make an estimate based on the past year's earnings.
When working out your money priorities, think about which items you need for your basic living expenses and which are extras or things you could maybe do without if you need to save some money.
Once you have a budget in place try and stick to it so that you can track your spending.
We recommend the TrackMySPEND application as it allows you to add your spending on the go.
Major overspending can lead to a debt spiral and severe problems for the future, so keeping track of your spending and sticking to your budget is important.
TIP: Preparing meals at home can save $40-50 per week, reuse dinner leftovers and use the survival stations all over the campuses to reheat your food. Skipping that $4.50 coffee everyday can save you $90 over 4 weeks!
- Write a shopping list
- Plan your meals for the week ahead
- Use a spending tracker
- Don’t shop hungry
- Set a budget and use cash only or track your spending on your credit card and stick to your budget
- Buy in bulk
- Check discounted section/specials
- Buy essentials
- Use comparison websites/Apps to find cheaper deals
- Check expiry dates (pick longer to last)
- NUSA Fruit and vegetable box
- Student cook book
- Pick seasonal fruit and vegetables as they are cheaper
- Cut down on junk food
- Resist impulse buys