5 Ways to Boost your Budget

5 Ways to Boost your Budget

5 Ways to Boost your Budget

Let me start by saying I am no budget expert! I have been budgeting for over 10 years yes, but sticking to it… I find that a struggle. That is what kind of bought on my interest in budgeting actually! I have not been sticking to my budget and I have not been successful this year in any of my saving goals. That is why I decided to start my Race to $5000 challenge and how I ended up writing this blog post. I have just finished the first week of the challenge and that involved a deep dive into my own budget and a review of where I may be going wrong! After a few days and many hours, I have found, I have a good set up, but a few areas just need a little tweak… one of those being my mindset!

If you are finding yourself a little unsure on this whole budget thing, don’t worry! I’ve made a list of the top 5 ways I am going to boost my budget!  

Accounts / Automation

A friend of mine explained the whole ‘multiple bank accounts’ set up to me a while ago now and I have continued using the method since! Its a pretty simple set up and if you are clever you can even automate all of your transfers and bills! The basic idea is that you set up multiple bank accounts that serve different functions. 

Below is a quick run down of my set up (hover over each account to see what I use it for):

Everyday Account

This is where my pay goes and the account I spend from.

Bills Account

Once a month I transfer money to cover all of my bills for the month

Joint Bills

Every pay I transfer my half of the bills my bf and I share

Joint Savings

This is where my bf and I both add our spare cash and will be where the $5000 that I save in my money challenge will go once I save it!!

The next step is to figure out how much money you need to put in each account. For the bills account I used a spreadsheet and took note of every single bill that I pay, I then figured out the exact amount I would need to transfer into the bills account each fortnight so I am covered whenever a new bill comes in (the first few times I added a little extra into the account as a buffer). Once you have figured out how much money you need to transfer each pay, it’s time to set up the automation! Get your bills set up so they can direct debit from this account, then you no longer need to stress if you remembered to pay that bill! The more transfers and bills you can set up as automatic the better, but make sure you get this right… if you don’t set your dates right it can be a bit of a mess!  

Get an App

The best thing I did was start using a budgeting app! I downloaded Pocketbook earlier this year and have been pottering away, categorising up a storm ever since! It doesn’t really get how my joint account works… But I just left that account off and just manage whatever is in my personal accounts. I have tried a few different ones, Money Brilliant, Pocketbook and a few others, however Pocketbook works best for me! It seemed to be the one that was able to guess my categories the quickest.   

Review your spending

This is where the app comes in handy! Once all of the necessary accounts were attached and I had categorised the stragglers (any purchases that were unrecognised), I started to analyse which areas I was spending the most in (health & beauty – thanks braces)… What I noticed when I started this was that in some areas, I always stayed in budget… but in others I am always waaaaay over (hello food & dining / entertainment). Being aware of my spending is going to be so helpful on this little saving challenge of mine and is a great way to see where your money goes and adjust your budget and spending habits! What I noticed from reviewing my Food & Dining spending, was that I eat a lot of take away lunches and dinners. This is now an area that I can focus on improving, which in turn may help me stay on track with my budget!  

Work out your priorities

I feel like in every area of life, it always comes to this! What do you want, like what do you REALLY want? What are your priorities, do you know? It may be time to set yourself some money goals! I spent some time last week working through a list of what I actually want money for and have now set my priorities in order! Before figuring out my priorities and setting my money goals, I took some time to look at my personal values and align these with my life goals, then after looking at my life goals I figured out the money side of them. Then decided which needed to be my priority.  

Accountability

This is currently where I struggle the most with my budget… keeping myself accountable! I have been looking at different ways I may be able to improve on this and have found quite a few fun ideas to help me stay on track… and even have a bit of fun with it at the same time! They say to get yourself an accountability partner when you start a new workout program at the gym… So why can’t you do the same for your saving goals! Find a friend that you trust, talk about your goals with them and let them know your plan, then check in with once a week or each pay, having someone else to celebrate your wins with and to feel accountable to will do wonders, you could even plan spend free activities together to keep you on track! Another option could be to start or create a money focused challenge (this is how I have decided to stay on top of my current saving goal). Another cool idea I have seen on Instagram is having a specific saving or paying off debt account! Both of these are great ways to keep yourself on track and find your own little community to keep you motivated and accountable. 

As I have said before, I am no budgeting expert, however I have (or am trying) all of these steps myself and so far I am finding them extremely helpful. I think the key take away that I have (and have only just started realising myself) is budgeting and paying off debt does not have to be a negative experience… and if it is, it may be time to take a look at your money mindset and instead of viewing the whole thing as a chore, start having a little bit of fun with it! 

 

Why not check out the book I am using to get my money mindset straight – You are a bad ass at making money by Jen Sincero 

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Race to $5000

Race to $5000

Race to $5000

If you follow me on my Instagram, you may already know, in the past I have been a little bit rubbish with my money! I mean I have the basics down, but I just cannot seem to find a spare dollar to save! This is the reason I picked up (well purchased on audio) Jen Sincero’s book ‘You are a Badass at Making Money’ and it has lit a firecracker up my butt! I want all the money!! That is why I have decided to set myself a little bit of a challenge… And I wanted to share it with you guys!

The Challenge – Save $5000 as quickly as possible. 

So far I have planned 4 weeks of tasks, from the book and some I have come up with myself to help nudge the saving along and keep me motivated and focused. 

The work – I have set each week up with 2 key areas to focus on. 

Take Action

Taking action as in... like actually saving my money, I have set up a few weekly tasks to do this! (Flip it baby)

Week 1 - Analyse/Prep Budget

Week 2 - Reduce emotional spending - Week 3 - Spend free week - Week 4 - Declutter for cash

The Book Work

There are so many good activities in Jen's book on money mindset and beliefs and I plan to tackle different sections each week!

Week 1 - My Why

Week 2 - Visualization - Week 3 - Money Beliefs - Week 4 - Money Language

The Rules – I didn’t want to set too many rules, cause I break them yo! BUT I have set a few

* Every morning I must say my Money Mantra! (some I will use from the book and others I am going to create myself * Once a week I must announce the plan and have at least 2 social check ins (watch out insta stories) * I must track and share my running $$ total here * I will blog along the way* 

So there it is! Follow along on my Instagram here  @inburstsofcolour and here #pinkparrisraceto5000 

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Plastic Free July Challenge

Plastic Free July Challenge

Plastic Free July Challenge

Yesterday was the last day of the Plastic Free July challenge… and what a challenge it was! I may not have had a perfect run… actually quite far from it!! BUT I really enjoyed participating and learning more about the small changes I can make. Now that the month is over, I have decided I will do my best to continue minimising my daily plastic use. The challenge was a real eye opener for me, I was completely unaware of how much single use plastic I was actually using each day!

Like I said it was a tough challenge and I failed… But along the way I found some great products that really helped through the challenge, which in turn gave me a few good habits too, so I thought it may be nice to share a few of these with you!

The Keep Cup

The easiest transition to make was actually saying no to the takeaway coffee cup, the moment I bought my keep cup, I just popped it in my handbag and it is always there… So the moment I buy a coffee I just whip it out and feel pretty awesome! There were a couple of times I had forgot it, which were on the weekends on my dog walks (due to not taking my handbag on these walks), but instead of getting the coffee to go and continuing my walk… I just asked to have the coffee dine in instead! We sat down and the dogs got extra pats and I reduced my plastic use! WIN WIN! 

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The BYO Shopping Bags

This one is a no-brainer and something I had been trying to do for years! I have been a little rubbish at the whole remembering to take my bags to the shops with me deal, until July 1st! The moment I started this challenge AND supermarkets actually stopped having the bags available, for some reason my brain made remembering them a priority straight away! Weird huh! Don’t bring back the free bags COLES I’m looking at you! 

The Bamboo Straws

I picked up this handy kit from Biome and they have been perfect! 

The hard part here is that whenever I buy a drink that needs a straw… it usually comes in a plastic cup! E.g. Boost Juice or an Iced Long Black! I have been trying to just buy less of these things… and that’s obviously better for the challenge… and my budget! I am thinking I may get a second larger Keep Cup for the Iced Long blacks though… for some reason a lot of places serve an ice long black in a plastic takeaway cup… even when you are dining in… and say dine in… and say no straw thanks! So having my own cup as well will most likely help! But then I have to carry two cups in my handbag… haha oh the dilemmas are real! 

My Take Away

I came into this challenge completely unprepared! Which made it 10 times harder then it really needed to be, but after just a few small tweaks I was able to reduce my plastic use significantly. Think of the changes I could make with just a little more preparation!! That’s why I’m not done yet, even though the challenge is done, I know I will continue to look at ways I can stay on the path to reducing my plastic use and just being a better human to the earth!

I know that sometimes the desire of ease takes over your efforts to do your part for a better a future… And sometimes it feels like you are a small fish in the sea of larger fish who could initiate change easier… But what I try to keep in my mind is if everyone changed their world… The world would change!  

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