Budget Saving Tips from our Bookkeeper
Stay home, save lives. This new life has caused a ripple effect on our bank balances across the globe. For some the need to be frugal is at no choice and others less affected may be saving money at a rapid rate. This experience is prompting a new thought process within a lot of us: 'When we emerge from this, how will we live our new lives?'
We reached out to our bookkeeper Bridget; a passionate budgeter and Mum to these 3 Coddiwomplers, for some simple tips to save money while raising a young family.
Here are Bridget's top tips:
- When your child is born, open a bank account for them and deposit what you can each week. I have done $10 a week for each of my 3 children from birth, and without counting interest, by the time they are 18 (For either University, a car, or a wedding etc), they would have at least $9,360.
- If you can, while you are staying home bringing up children, and if you can afford to live on one income, if and when you return to some paid work, use this second income for savings or extras. Especially while your children are young and don’t cost too much, it's great practice to get used to living on one income for the day-to-day living costs and then any extra income can be used for family holidays or savings.
- Use a credit card that has hot points or fly buys or a rewards plan, use this card for any costs like petrol, groceries etc, but repay it from your normal bank account at the time of transaction so you don’t ever owe anything to the card, but get the benefit of the rewards.
- Setup multiple bank accounts to use for each expense category. Have one for weekly groceries, one for petrol and vehicle expenses, one for house utilities, and one each for pocket money. Yes, pocket money! Once your weekly bills are paid, food is on the table and the car is full, there may be a pocket money amount left that you know you can blow on coffee, dinner dates, hair cuts etc.
- I am a huge advocate for a supermarket Christmas club scheme. We put $10-20 a week by automatic payment to purchase Christmas club vouchers. Come December, we have between $480-960 to use at the supermarket for presents, Xmas food, or just topping up the pantry over summer or for trips to the beach or for a picnic.
- Set yourselves up and follow a budget. You will never get anywhere if you don’t have rules and limits. If the money is a free-for-all, you’ll never be strict enough to see yourselves getting ahead.
A couple of extra tips from many clients that come to me for a budget setup
- Do not get a personal loan for things that you should be able to afford on your weekly income. Do not live beyond your means! It will never help you get ahead and sets you up for bad practice.
- A vehicle payment may be inevitable at some point in your life, but shop around for the best rate and make extra payments on it when you can to get the interest lower.
- Do not go on a holiday you can not afford. Is it teaching your kids anything? Will you be able to relax and enjoy your holiday knowing you’re getting into debt to do it?
- Banks and lenders are more than happy to give out loans! The reason for this is they are the winner here. Not you. You pay the loan back several times over sometimes.
- Do not be afraid to ask for help if your finances are out of your control. It can be a huge weight lifted to just get into some good practice with your money. To not worry about how things will be paid. To not commit to things you maybe don’t need or can’t afford especially if you don’t have the money there to use.