By Zoe Taylor
Everyone finds it difficult at one time or another to manage their money, and this can cause a lot of stress. We’ve got some tips for you to help get rid of your money stresses and get on top of your budget!
Record your expenses
Start by making a list of where your money is going. Write down everything you purchase and the amount it costs, then from this list, differentiate which costs are necessary and regular (e.g. rent, phone bills, groceries, etc.), and which ones are ‘luxuries’ (e.g. coffee, snacks, etc.). You’ll then start to have a better idea of exactly how much spending money you have each month after you’ve paid the mandatory bills.
Set aside the necessities
Now that you’ve differentiated your necessities from your luxuries, it’s a good idea to set aside the money dedicated to your rent, bills, groceries and anything else you have to pay for as soon as your pay cheque comes through. This could mean opening a new savings account to which you transfer that money over so that you can’t spend it. This will help your stay certain that you’re not spending money you don’t have on luxuries, and when your bills are due you won’t be stuck.
Save a little
Each time you’re paid, set a little aside for your personal savings. Even if it’s just $10 per pay cheque, every little bit counts and it all adds up. Think about it – if you save $10 a week, at the end of a year you will have saved $520!
Always make room for emergency money. Again, you don’t have to set aside much, just a little bit each time you’re paid. If you’re ever faced with an emergency situation, for example your car battery dies or you get sick and have to pay to see a doctor, having some money aside that you can use in that situation will make things a lot easier.
Draw up a budget
With all that in mind, you might consider going a step further and setting all the information out in a spreadsheet. It’s often a lot easier to have all the information there in front of you, and is more secure than not quite knowing how much money you have left over each month after all the necessities. Microsoft Excel has a lot of useful budget templates online, which you can find here and here.
Try each of these steps towards managing your money and see how they work for you – you might be surprised by just how in control of your money you can be, even if you feel like you have no control right now.
For help in finding the right career path for you, or for useful tips on areas such as studying, call 1800 143 080 or visit www2.collegesonline.com.au/mycareer to contact one of our friendly career advisors!