Deciding to budget does not mean that you have to cut out spending on discretionary items that are important to your lifestyle. But you should be realistic about them and become a disciplined shopper (as well as a disciplined budgeter). This will help make your money work better for you. Here are my budgeting tips for you and your family:
Here are just a few ideas on this important topic:
- Consider buying lower priced “generics” or items of a similar nature to your regular purchases;
- Switch to less expensive versions of goods or services.
- Shop harder for the best possible deals on items you must have;
- Avoid buying items that are of limited value to you or your family;
- Become a comparison shopper: watch the advertisements and be aware that prices vary from day to day on a whole range of goods from furniture to food;
- Watch for genuine sales and specials;
- Deal with shops, which offer good service and will take goods back without argument if they are unsatisfactory.
- Shop for seasonal specials and stock your freezer. But buy in bulk only when you know you can use everything you intend to buy – otherwise you will have to throw a lot of it out. Waste is costly.
- Phase your purchasing of big items like furniture and major electrical goods over three to five years and buy only when you really need and can afford the items;
- Think about buying good second-hand items – check-out auctions and garage sales;
- If you are holding money in a special savings account, you can often use it to pay for an item – and get a discount for cash;
- Buy Australian-made goods in preference to imports – buying Australian helps save jobs and reduces the nation’s overseas payments and debt problems.
Try to be as realistic as possible. Do not make the budget so tight and demanding that it will be impossible to achieve your goals. Do not make it too generous – or you will destroy your incentive to budget and save. Be flexible – but disciplined.
Partners should budget together. But involve everyone in your household – tell them about your budget and savings goals and why it is so important to achieve them.
Do not be discouraged if you cannot get your budget to work – try again. Once you have set up a workable budget, you will find that budgeting becomes a habit.
The advice contained herein does not take into account any persons particular objectives, needs or financial situation. Before making a decision regarding the acquisition or disposal of a Financial Product persons should assess whether the advice is appropriate to their objectives, needs or financial situation. Persons may wish to make this assessment themselves or seek the help of an adviser. No responsibility is taken for persons acting on the information provided. Persons doing so, do so at their own risk.