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Spend Carefully

Sweating over your summer spend? Here’s how to restart your budget

Financial Wellbeing Coach

2021-02-01 00:00

Estimated reading time
 7 min

In this article

  • How to get that bank balance set-up for a great year ahead
  • Clever budget ideas to reduce your expenses
  • How 'mindful spending' can pay off

Summer – burgers, boardies and… budgets?

With the sun on our faces and 2021 a thing of the past, we’re all entitled to a season of indulgence. But indulgence doesn’t have to equal debt. With the right approach to your end-of-summer spending, you can achieve your warm-weather wants on an ice-cream budget.

Here’s how to get that summer bank balance set-up for a great year ahead, from clever budget ideas to dead-easy ways to reduce your expenses. Pass the sunscreen, would you?

Plan your budget

It can sound boring… but it doesn’t have to be! An hour or two spent planning your budget now will mean you’re starting your year off in the right way.

Remember, it’s not how much you have, it’s how you manage it. Here’s our simple step-by-step guide to creating a cooling summer budget.

  • Wants vs needs. It’s hot, and you really, really want that second summer spritz. But do you actually need it? Will it tangibly improve your quality of life? Differentiating between your spending wants and needs is the glue that holds a budget together.

    But it isn’t something you can feasibly achieve during a Sunday session. It takes forethought and pre-planning. Start by going through your most recent bank statement and dividing the expenses into wants and needs based on your plans for the year ahead. Is that second spritz actually important to you? Then you may have to make the chop elsewhere. It’s all about balance.

  • Do the 50-30-20 budget. Boy, do we love this budget hack. Based on percentages and not how much you earn, this simple budget ratio will help you uncover where your financial priorities lie. Simply divide your income into three buckets: 50% for needs (rent or mortgage, bills, debts, food etc.), 30% to wants (fingers crossed for concert tickets!) and 20% to savings. Keep in mind, if getting out of debt is more important than fun in the sun over the next few months, you may want to funnel a portion of your savings into its own debt bucket temporarily. The important thing is you divide up your expenses in a way that makes sense to you and your situation.

  • Review early and often. So, you created a thorough summer budget. Well done you. But let’s not set and forget. The best-laid budget can easily blow out without careful monitoring. Use your transaction history or a spending tracker (if you’re an ANZ customer, you could use ANZ Spendi in the ANZ App*) to track your daily expenses. Sticking to your budget week-on-week? A gold star on the fridge is unnervingly rewarding. Chocolate works too.

    And as the season changes, your budget might change too so use that time as an opportunity to give your budget a spring (or autumn!) clean too.

Reduce expenses

It’s not the cheapest time of year. But with these two simple life hacks, you’ll be able to make the most of your summer spending.

  • Swap ‘n’ save. Beach holidays, festive parties, hanging with friends. Who doesn’t love a summer with at least one of these? But a few clever swaps can make all the difference when it comes to your finances. Craving a vacay in a private pool villa? Try beach camping with a bunch of mates instead. Keen to hit up the latest rooftop bar? An alfresco picnic in a scenic locale is equally refreshing. Staying true to the sunny vibes while slashing expenses? Priceless.

  • Shop the sales. The end-of-season sales are every summer budgeters’ best friend. Now’s the time to nab that designer bikini or sand-shedding beach towel. Remember to spend mindfully though! And even though your dream item is on sale, it doesn’t always mean it’s a bargain.

Spend carefully

Mindful spending can pay off in a big way when it comes to budgeting. Burning through $15 a day on lunch and a flat white at work? Meal prep and an insulated coffee flask will set you right. Impulse purchasing something you’ll probably never wear? Sleep on it and see how you (and your bank balance) feels in two days’ time.

These simple changes to your spending habits will allow you to milk every last drop out of the year, without sacrificing your quality of life. It really is a win, win.

Sweating over your summer spend? Here’s how to restart your budget
Financial Wellbeing Coach

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