As we enter the new year it’s a great opportunity to reflect on want we want to achieve in 2017 be it personally or financially
Most of us try to avoid looking too carefully at our spending habits. Not only can it be eye-opening, but it can be a bit unsettling – especially if your day-to-day costs have gone a bit overboard over the festive season. To keep your finances in check it’s worth setting up a budget. It can be one of the most effective ways to manage your spending and help pay off your mortgage that bit quicker.
Keep these points in mind when putting together a successful budget.
1. Go through your finances
To get the right balance between spending and saving, you need to understand where you can make improvements. First and foremost, you’ll need to figure out where your money is going. Take a look at bank and credit card statements, as well as paperwork like energy bills and supermarket receipts. You’ll probably have a record of mortgage repayments and other debts you’re paying off, so include these in your calculations.
2. Work out the necessities
From this point, you can start to prioritise what goes in and out of your accounts. Some payments are absolutely necessary, while others you might be able to cut down on. There will also be variable payments and fixed charges. For example, look at how you can trim expenses such as power and internet charges by reviewing plans and usage. Consider taking your lunch to work and maybe buying fewer coffees a week as it all adds up quickly.
Of course, it’s important to be realistic. Your budget should be a guiding goal, it shouldn’t stop you from enjoying life. Your budget should accurately reflect how you spend your hard-earned money, so be honest with yourself.
3. Be disciplined
If you want to achieve your goal of saving for a car, holiday or even a deposit for your first home being disciplined is key to your success. Make sure you’ve set yourself a realistic budget which still provides you with enough money to live.
By making small sacrifices on a daily basis very quickly you will become conditioned to saving and setting you on the path to achieving your goals.
4. Look at the big picture
If your income is outweighing your expenses, you’re on the right track – but if you’re like many Australians and find you are falling short, it could be time to change your habits. Once you’ve got your expenses sorted, you can start to see the bigger picture and figure out what little luxuries you can afford to limit. With these tools in your back pocket, you’ll be well on the way to achieving your savings plan and budgeting goals for 2017.
Whether you’re considering a new mortgage or reviewing your existing situation a Smartline Mortgage Adviser can assist. Call 13 14 97 or complete our call request form and we’ll call you!