One of the simplest ways to take charge of your money is to develop a personal budget. The benefits of creating a budget are well worth the trouble – it allows you to take back control over your expenditure and reduce money stresses, accumulate wealth and save towards the important things for your family, whether that’s a house deposit, a holiday, renovations or retirement. If you have a mortgage, budgeting can also help you work out what level of repayments you can comfortably make, and whether you can find any additional funds to pay down your mortgage sooner.
If you already have a mortgage, assessing whether your mortgage is still fitting your needs is important as part of the budget process. As one of the largest investments most families will ever make, ensuring that your mortgage setup is right for your life stage, cash flow and savings goals can be critical in meeting your budget goals, and even small changes could make a big difference over time. Read more about Accumulo Financial Solutions’ mortgage broking capability here.
Creating a budget starts with getting a handle on your cash flow – this will give you a great overview of when money is coming in, where it is flowing out, whether you spend more than you earn and what kind of ebb and flow can be seen from your expenditure. Accumulo Financial Solutions uses some great cash flow tools which will automatically assess your expenditure and place it into categories to help organise your budget down the track. These tools can also show you how much some smaller repetitive costs can add up to over time. Looking at expenses over time can also allow you to identify areas where potential savings could be made, particularly if you find that you have a negative cash flow.
Getting a good idea of where your money goes will help you to budget ahead for particular bills (your budget can allow for different billing frequencies for example – fortnightly, monthly, quarterly or annually), and put aside money for when you will need it. Developing an overview of your expenses and your income will also allow you to set aside savings for a rainy day, large planned purchases like holidays or a new car, savings for a house deposit or extra debt repayments and so forth. Making additional contributions into superannuation can also be a long-term strategy to assist with wealth creation and retirement planning.
Although setting and sticking to a budget can be tricky – particularly if you haven’t done one before – it will get easier over time. Accumulo Financial Solutions recommends reviewing your budget regularly initially, and then less frequently – even annually unless something changes. Of course, when you are anticipating major changes, like buying a new house or expanding your family – it’s important to review the impact these changes have on your budget, and adjust your expenditure accordingly.
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What you need to know
Accumulo Financial Solutions is an Authorised Representative and Credit Representative of AMP Financial Planning Pty Limited ABN 89 051 208 327 AFSL 232706 and Australian Credit Licence 232706. This information does not take your circumstances into account, so read the relevant disclosure documents and consider what’s right for you. If you acquire an AMP product or service, AMP companies and/or their representatives will receive fees and other benefits, which will be a dollar amount and/or a percentage of either the premium you pay or the value of your investments. Ask us for more details.