How do I set up a budget?

The easiest way to set up a budget is to use an excel spreadsheet, if you’re not familiar with excel, you could also use good ol’ pen and paper.

Here are the step I’d use to make a simple weekly budget.

  1. Find out how much money you make a week - from a job, business, interest, odd jobs etc…
  2. Find out how much money you’re spending a week - look at your receipts and bills and tally this up.
  3. To make more money, you can increase your income (e.g. new job) or save money by cutting back on areas of your spending

Here’s an example.

Weekly Budget
Money In
Job $500
TOTAL = $500
Money Out
Eating out $200
Rent $200
Childcare $200
Transport $50
TOTAL = $650

What this means is that the money that is being spent is greater than what you’re making, so you’re using saved funds to dip into or funding it through credit.

So given we have this picture, what can you do to save more?

  • Eating out is a discretionary expenditure (meaning it is a choice and not essential). If you eat-in and buy groceries you could half this to $100.
  • Rent - look at other options, are there other suburbs or areas with cheaper rent.
  • Childcare, if you drop 1 day of childcare you could reduce the childcare bill.

Budgeting helps you make decisions.

Next: About the Managing and Saving Money category

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