Learning how to budget? Our free online budget planner is here to help
Try our online budget planner to get an overview of your personal finances and how you’re spending your money on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis.
For more information on how to budget and plan your financial future, book a no-obligation chat with a My Money Sorted team member to reach your financial goals.
Did You Know There Are Different Types of Budgets?
There isn’t one “right” way to budget, however, there are some popular budgeting methods that most people find useful to keep their financial goals on track. The different budgeting types include:
- 50/30/20 Method —
This option sets aside 50% of your monthly income for needs, 30% for wants, and 20% for savings and debts.
This budgeting method is well suited for those getting started with a budget and for those who want to categorise needs over wants. What’s appealing about this method is that it gives you room to save while also maintaining debt payments and living expenses.
- The Envelope System —
This budgeting method is well suited for people who need more discipline when it comes to spending but don’t want to track every expense. This involves setting a monthly expense limit for your different spending categories (such as groceries).
You then fill envelopes with your spending limits. Some people find using real cash the most effective way to stay on budget. You can also use separate bank accounts for your different expense categories to keep everything online and cashless. Once your ‘envelope’ is empty, you can’t spend any more money on that category for the rest of the month.
- The Pay Yourself First Budget —
This is a helpful method for those wanting to pay off debts and grow their savings. This method involves prioritising savings over immediate expenses. You first decide how much you want to put aside for savings goals, then use the rest for bills and other costs.
- Zero-Based Budget —
Zero-based budgeting implements strategic goals into the budgeting process by linking every dollar to a specific category and cost. This means dedicating every dollar of your income to either debts, living expenses or savings goals until you have deliberately used every single dollar. This budget suits over-spenders and meticulous planners and helps clarify your expenses.
The Budget Calculator is a comprehensive planner that can assist you in getting a better overview of your cash flow – including incoming amounts, outgoing expenses, and left-over income.
From here you can use these details to implement a budgeting method that works best for you, your family and your goals.
- This is a model, not a prediction. Amounts and periods are estimates only, actual amounts may be higher or lower.
- Results are based on information you have provided and do not take your personal circumstances into account.
- Initial inputs will be displayed on the left hand side of the graph. Your ‘What if’ scenario (if applicable) will be displayed on the right hand side of the graph.
- It is not intended to be your sole source of information when making a financial decision. You may wish to consider getting advice from a licensed finance professional.
To get personalised financial advice, you can book a free call with a My Money Sorted team member and we can connect you with financial advice that’s right for you.
What is the main purpose of budgeting?
The purpose of a budget is to create financial stability and implement sustainable financial plans. Budgeting helps you to track expenses and makes it easier to pay bills on time, as ell as build an emergency fund and savings for financial goals (such as buying a car, a house deposit or a holiday). Overall, a budget is ideal for improving the sustainability of financial plans and optimises your spending habits.
What is the golden rule for budgeting?
There are different “golden rules” depending on the method of budgeting you’re using and your financial priorities. For example, some “golden rules” include:
- “save before you spend” – also known as “pay yourself first.”
- “save for the unexpected” – build an emergency fund.
- “pay yourself a wage” – have spending money or a lifestyle budget included in your overall budget.
What are common budgeting mistakes to avoid?
There are a number of budgeting mistakes that we all make and that are easy to avoid once you know what they are:
- Not writing your budget down – putting your cash flow in black and white makes it easier to comprehend how much money you’re working with and how much you’re spending.
- Not tracking your spending – tracking your spending is important for understanding where your bleeding money unnecessarily and where you can reduce expenses.
- Setting unrealistic budgeting goals – your financial goals need to be achievable through sustainable saving budgets. You can always save more if you end up with a surplus at the end of the week.
- Forgetting to track one-time expenses – no matter how small the spend, track it! The little spends can stack up quickly when they go unchecked.
- Not planning for emergency expenses – an emergency fund is critical for ensuring your financial stability. Your fund should be have enough in it that you could realistically cover all your expenses for up to 3 months or longer. This way no matter what happens – car breaks down or you’re unexpectedly made redundant – you are financially covered.
- Forgetting to plan for fun expenses – life can’t be all work and no play, so having a lifestyle expense as part of your budget is important for long-term sustainability.