Counting costs & budgeting
You need a budget to keep track of how much money you have coming in versus how much your expenses are (or are likely to be).
A budget helps you work out what you can actually afford to spend, plus how much you need to save to avoid nasty surprises when the bills arrive. This helps you plan ahead so you don’t end up in debt.
So, ok, you’ll need to make a budget, and some good financial habits like saving and paying things on time wouldn’t hurt.
To be honest, this would kinda be a case of do as I say, not as I do, though…but I’m trying…
How to make a budget
Add in any new costs, such as rent, and don’t forget to factor in something for bills (look at a friend’s bills or your parents’ to get a rough estimate or just put aside an amount each week, until you figure your costs out).
Check out the printable Basic budget checklist for a simple way to work out what your budget needs to cover.
Do you have enough money? If you don’t have enough to cover your basic expenses and you can’t reduce them, you might have to try and get some extra work to make up the difference.
Remember, some things are not actually essential…like Saturday ciggies, that Thai place on Thursday, Sunday arvo beers (oh, ok, it’s happy hour) or new red shoes, but budget for them and it’s all good.
Get the best plans available for you. See Get connected & manage your bills for how to do this with utilities.
Look out for the upcoming LtN post on keeping your phone bills down. Also watch out for our upcoming post with 12 ways to cut your costs that everyone can do to start saving dollars straight away!