Money-In vs. Money-Out
Writing things down on paper can make you feel instantly better. Feeling better about your money situation is no different, and for this, you have the Budget.
A budget allows you to estimate all of your income and expenses over the next few weeks, months, or even years.
Think of it like a ‘spending plan’, or, how much you have left over to spend after you’ve paid your expenses each pay cycle.
If you find you’re always overspending and have little money leading up to your next pay, a budget allows you to take control of your money so you become aware of your situation, and lessen the money strain between each pay check.
Setting up a simple budget for your life is easy:
- This is where you list all of the money that is paid to you, such as wages, or Centrelink benefits;
- It’s important to list any other way you make money, such as doing extra work, or any pay your partner brings home.
- List any commitments, such as rent, mortgage, loan repayments, credit card fees and interest, and super contributions;
- List any bills, such as council rates, body corporate fees, insurance, maintenance and repairs, electricity, gas, water, internet, and home and mobile phones;
- List any education fees, such as school, uni or TAFE fees, childcare or preschool, uniforms, sport fees;
- List any health fees, such as health insurance, doctor and dentist visits, and medicine and vet purchases;
- List any shopping expenses, such as your weekly groceries, clothing, toiletries, and hair appointments;
- List any transport expenses, such as car insurance, maintenance, registration, licensing, petrol, tolls, parking and public transport;
- List any entertainment and eating out you do.
Then work out what you have left:
- Add up all your ‘Money In’;
- Add up all your ‘Money Out’;
- Subtract your ‘Money Out’ total from your ‘Money In’ total.
What you are left with is a positive or negative balance, which will tell you if you’re living within your means, and will help you adjust if you need to.