Frugal budget checkup

Hey 2020 revellers. How has this year treated you all financially. We are coming up to tax time, this week! Which makes it the perfect time to plan your finances for the next 12months. So whip out your spreadsheets and lets get cutting.

Track your expenses

I want you to get your bank statements for the last 3months. Then categorise each expense as follows:
  • Food
  • Entertainment
  • Essential bill
  • Savings
  • Other

This may seem like a simple list and that's because it is. These are the main categories of your spending. Once this is done work out your monthly income. Then work out your monthly expenses percentage for each category. To do this take the number for the last three months and divide it by 3. This will give you an average. Then work out your average income in the same way. This should give you a set of figures to work out your monthly budget as it currently stands.

For example:
Income $5100 a month
Food $450
Entertainment $200
Essential bills $2100 (including rent, petrol and phone)
Savings $1500
Other $1050

Basically everything should fall into one of these categories give or take a few $$ because its an average and each month will have its hidden expenses. 

Cut the fat 

Now I want you to write down exactly what fell into each category. These are for example but just take a look at what you spent the money on and use them.

Food: - Groceries $200
          - Take away dinner/ lunch $130
          - coffee  $20
          - breakfast out $100

Entertainment: - Magazines $20
                         - Movie rental $80
                         - Amazon prime $11
                         - Apple music $8
                         - Internet $120

Essential bills: - Phone $120
                        - Contents insurance $49
                        - Rent $900
                        - Petrol $120
                        - After school care $80
                        - NRMA $11
                        - car insurance $60

Other: - Hairdresser
           - Clothes
           - Parking
           - Speeding fine
           - Toys
           - Gym membership

Try to fit everything into a category so you can see exactly what you are spending money on.

Pull it together

Now is time to work out what you really don't need to be spending money on and what we can shrink. The aim is to knock all of these down to under 60% of your income.

Gym membership - why not just go for a walk and do youtube workouts?

Clothes - Unless you have kids who outgrow theirs then there is no need to buy more every year. Wear what you did last year. I buy maybe 2 or 3 new items a year for myself and this is usually to replace something that is worn-out. I also buy my sons clothes a few sizes bigger so they last longer.

Food - We are all guilty of not shopping to a list some times but really try and plan your shop and meals before you go. This has shown to nearly halve food bills. And of course try and cut out all takeout and coffees out. Buy frozen pizza for those lazy days or make your own chips at home.

That's it for this check up. How much did you manage to shave off? Any surprises in there? For me its always how much takeout costs!

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