Reaching your financial goals may be as simple as making small changes to your spending habits. There are saving blunders to look out for that could undo all of your hard work.
Not being honest about your spending
You may think that you should only budget for larger expenses such as groceries and petrol, but the smaller purchases can have a big impact. Ordering a $4 coffee everyday can add up over time. In order to get a true insight into your spending habits, you need to record every dollar spent. You might be surprised to see how much extra money you spend on the little things that you could cut down on.
No emergency fund
It is always the expensive emergencies that pop up at inopportune times that can take you back to square one.Your car breaking down with an expensive repair bill or your pet may having an accident, may mean that you have to dip into your savings and mess up your budgeting plan. This is why having an emergency fund is so important. You may not know when an emergency will come up, but you can be financially prepared for it.
Not reviewing your budget enough
The cost of living is constantly changing. Petrol, groceries and utility bills may not always be the same every month. If you have set a budget based on certain spending allowances, it is important to review it regularly, especially if there is a change in costs. E.g. If you have a mortgage, there is a chance that your repayments may change as interest rates fluctuate.
Being too thrifty
Similar to quitting smoking and dieting, if you go cold turkey straight away, the chances of splurging and undoing all of your hard work is much higher. Budgeting should be considered a lifestyle change and therefore, small and gradual changes should be implemented so you are able to change your habits at your own pace.
For example, if you usually buy your lunch every day at work, begin by cutting down to three days a week and slowly work towards only buying lunch as an occasional treat. Lifestyle changes should be considered a marathon, not a sprint.
Maintaining a budget does not necessarily require a lot of work, but in order to reap the full benefits, you need to put in the effort and be consistent.
If you need help with your budget, State Custodians has a range of online finance calculators available to show you that all the hard work will reap rewards.