4 steps to a New Year budget

2021 frugal budget

Last year was the year that was. This year there are new considerations, new bills and a new outlook. No longer are we muddling along with business as usual. Im taking a look at my budget and what this year has in store for us. 

Step 1: Review my 2021 budget and see if anything has changed.


  • Have any costs gone up or down? - Yes, My phone plan will end in April and I will be switching from my $60 a month Telstra plan to a $15 aldi prepaid. It has the same amount of data 3GB and is a one month auto roll over until i cancel so no more contracts. I will need to purchase a new phone as my current one just cant handle what i need it too but i will try keep this below $600.

  • Has my situation changed? - Absolutely! the pandemic meant that I'm now working from home two days a week which can change at any time so before and after school care are the dividing factor here. Currently he does afters three days a week. However this means i don't get to work until 9:30 which eats into my flex time (i work 7.21 hours a day any thing under needs to be made up another day etc). So this year i think i will need to add befores to those three days also. This isnt much of an added cost as its subsidised so maybe an extra $20 a week.

  • I have decided to pay as many of my bills annually this year. This is because firstly you often get a discount for paying upfront. It also means that I don't have to worry about keeping track of when payments come out monthly and making sure there is enough money in to cover them. I have had several missed payments this year due to the smallest miscalculation, im talking less than $1 the night before means a missed payment the day after. 

Step 2: Can I reduce or cancel any payments?

  • I have cancelled any payments that I either don't use or decided something else would work better. This included Amazon Prime and Disney plus. Both I had to watch one show which I have so they can be cancelled and I can just sign up for one month when needed. I still have Netflix.

  •  As above i am ending my phone plan in April when the contract ends to switch to an Aldi which saves me about $60 a month!

Step 3: What payments do I need to add?

  • Firstly I need to go to the dentist. I have never had dental work done (didn't need any) but i have several black spots which I hope to get filler on before they turn into cavities if they aren't already. This meant that I decided that getting Health insurance was now needed to help cover the costs. Getting older means that I'm sure this will be more frequent so spending $328 a year for extra and ambulance cover for me and Rue is a good investment (I'm in Australia so Medicare covers alot of the cost already but Dentists are one of the more costly visits). I already had ambulance which was $100 a year but I will cancel that for this new company which includes it with their extras so its an extra $200 a year for $800 of dental covered. Good deal.
Dentist visit

  • I had my car fixed last year which came to just under $2000 but I can tell that the breaks need doing so I will need to budget for a full service I think. Maybe $500? 

  • I would also like to budget for a new TV this year. My current one is an ex mall tv on a very home job stand, it is heavy and I'm sure uses more power than it needs too. It also only has one HDMI port and is not a smart TV so I'm constantly changing cables around. A new one will be around $500, and save me alot of time and stress.

  • Clothes. I'm assuming i will need new clothes this year. I got rid of alot that I never wore or were worn out this year but as i was working from home i just wore tracksuit pants and a tshirt most of the year, lol. I have also dropped 2 dress sizes and there is only so long i can make my old clothes work. Maybe $300?

Step 4: Other

  • School - This one would include school costs or any upcoming trips etc but its all a bit up in the air really. Rue goes to a public school which normally would have a voluntary book fee but we haven't been advised about one so, who knows.  His school provides all his books and stationary so i dont need to buy any of it, the fee is usually about $60 but his teacher actually told me that its up to me if i even pay it. I usually do because they don't get alot of funding and I'm happy to pay that to help. He also still has alot of his school clothes from last year which just consists of green or red tops and bottoms. I don't get the logo clothes as they are about $25 a shirt where as I can get plain ones from kmart for $2, like why would I pay for the monogram? He constantly loses hats so a few spare will set me back about $20 and I got some new divided lunch boxes for him which were $6 each. During the year i need to update the sizes but i try buy a few sizes up so they last longer. I bought him 4 new size 12 shirts (he is a size 10 now) so they should last a little longer. I will do another post on how to save money on school things i think. 
school supplies

  • My bills are roughly 50% of my income so i have a large margin of savings which i use for entertainment and out of pocket things like eating out and clothes. I am setting myself a goal of $15,000 savings by the end of the year though. According to my budget i could save $33,000 but thats assuming i only spend $100 more than my bills a fortnight so im allowing alot for unforeseen items. 

So, lets sit back, plan, and see what 2021 has in store for us!

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