One of the easiest ways for Aussie families to save money is by having a solid budget. Many have tried to make budgets in the past but unfortunately they fail. One of the main reasons for a budget falling over is that people miss out on key expenses. Billy Sumo is always looking for ways to save money for Aussie families, so here’s a guide to making an easy household budget.
Before You Even Start
One of the most important things to remember when making an easy household budget is to be realistic. A budget should reflect what you DO spend – not what you WANT TO spend. Once you’ve got a clear picture of your spending, you can work out where you can trim costs later.
An Easy Household Budget Is Free
Many financial services will claim they can do your budget and solve your money problems. Usually, that’s not true. They may be able to make you a budget, but you should never have to pay for it. We’ll show you how easy it is.
Apps for an Easy Household Budget?
If you can find a free app that makes it easy to budget, go for it! However, many people are turned away from budgeting apps because they’re just too complex. Keep reading – all you need is a very basic Excel spreadsheet.
Make A List of All Your Expenses
There’s two types of expenses. Let’s call them ‘known expenses’ and ‘unknown expenses’. Examples of known expenses may be insurance, council rates, care registration, rent, mortgage payments, phone bills, gas and electricity expenses. While you can’t always predict exactly what your phone or energy bills will be, you should have a general idea based on previous bills or the plan you’re on.
Unknown expenses might be groceries, entertainment expenses, clothing, sports activities for kids. These are things that either aren’t exact each fortnight, or they can pop up without much warning.
Spreadsheet Tips for an Easy Household Budget
Most of your expenses will come in different intervals. Here’s how to make it easy:
1. List all expenses in one column.
2. In another column, turn them into an annual expense. For example, if rent is $500 per week, multiply it by 52. If you pay health insurance monthly, multiply it by 12.
3. In another column, use a simple formula to change that annual expense into your pay cycle. For example, if you get paid fortnightly and your annual expense is in cell B3, use the formula =sum(B3/26). See image below.
4. Use the Auto Sum function to get a total at the bottom of your list.
Managing an Easy Household Budget
By listing every single expense you have throughout the year, you can manage your money so much better. How you manage it is your choice, but one great way is to keep a separate bank account for bills. While there’s plenty of expenses you need money for each week, there’s a lot that come up only once a year. On this budget you can see how much you need to put aside each fortnight to cover them – best thing is you’ll never be surprised by a bill because the money is already there.
Put Your Easy Household Budget To Use!
Is your easy household budget showing you’re paying too much for life insurance, health insurance or energy? Billy Sumo can do all the comparison work for you, so why not let him find you a better deal?