Simple guide to budgeting

March 30th 2020 | Categories: Financial Planning | Budgeting & Goals |

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One of the greatest sources of money stress is uncertainty. Not knowing where you stand financially can be a source of anxiety. By understanding what you spend now, you can provide yourself with some clarity. You are then able to make informed decisions about what needs to happen next.

The basics of budgeting

Budgets are made up of three key areas:

Facing the facts

The best way to build a budget is to take a deep dive into what you have actually been spending. For this, we recommend using a tool that helps. Our clients have free access to Money Brilliant Premium which will allow for in-depth insights and navigation of your complete financial picture in one place. The basic plan, which is free, also allows you to see back into time by pulling all of your transaction data into one place and categorising it for you.


Understand how a financial adviser can support you with your need for financial security. Get in touch.

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Build your budget:

  1. Download Money Brilliant (if you are a client, get in touch with your adviser for your code and additional support)
  2. Sync all of your accounts using the too
  3. Check categorization
  4. Review your data to understand your budge
  5. What can’t change? What is a recurring bill? Set those up in the bills tool
  6. Make decisions about what will change in the future
  7. Amend your budget accordingly with the budgeting tool.

If you’d prefer a more manual approach, you can access our budgeting tool here. We do recommend using Money Brilliant to get a quick and thorough review of what you have been spending so you don’t miss anything.


Your financial roadmap

Once you have clarity around your budget basics and historical spending patterns, you can make some choices about your future. Here are some things you should consider:

If you are not where you want to be, our tips are:


Common budgeting mistakes

In our experience working with thousands of people, we have seen some common mistakes when it comes to budgeting and general cashflow management. Don’t fall into the same traps.


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Budget elements

The following is a guide to the things you will consider in your budget building:

What you earn

In simpler situations, this will simply be your wages. Additionally, it may include government support, pensions, investment income, Adhoc gig revenue, etc.


What you must spend based on your current situation

These are your core expenses, things needed for your basic living and other expenses that once committed are difficult to change quickly.


What you spend on ‘nice to have’s’ or discretionary items

Some of these items may be non-negotiable to you but if push came to shove, they are more easily adjusted.


Building a budget does not need to be painful. It may seem like ‘ignorance is bliss’ but we know that uncertainty actually breeds stress. Take a bit of time, use technology to support you, and ask for help when you get stuck. With an accurate budget, you can start to move forward with the life you want.

Get in touch with us today if you would like to find out how we can help.

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What you need to know

This information is provided by Invest Blue Pty Ltd (ABN 91 100 874 744). The information contained in this article is of general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regards to those matters and seek personal financial, tax and/or legal advice prior to acting on this information. Read our Financial Services Guide for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relations to products and services provided to you.