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Spend Carefully

Tips to spring clean your finances and watch your money bloom

Financial Wellbeing Coach

2023-08-24 00:00

Estimated reading time
5 min

In this article

  • 3 simple steps to manage your money
  • A guide to categorising your cash clutter
  • Learn how to put your savings priorities on a pedestal
  • The best way to build a budget

Spring has sprung and with the flowers blooming and days getting longer, it’s the perfect time to tap into those positive vibes.

Tidying up the garden and wiping away the winter cobwebs is just the start. Messy finances can leave you with more stress than all your cluttered cupboards combined. Spring cleaning your finances now also helps you get set for the ‘silly season’ where budgets can blowout with Christmas and New Year. It can be tricky to know where to start. Hopefully, these three simple steps will set you on your way.

Step 1: Categorise your cash clutter

The first step to organising your finances is to categorise similar expenses together to see how much you’re working with - so creating buckets for your costs is essential. This gives you a bird’s eye view to see where the bulk of your money is really going. We’ve come up with a list of categories you can use or create what works for you.

  • Needs: These are your essentials. It covers all your everyday living expenses like rent, utilities, health insurance and groceries. How much should you set aside for these each month?
  • Debt: Every person and their dog have debts they need to manage. Listing your debts out is a great way to stay across how much you owe and which you want to pay off first. Credit cards, personal loans, HECS… it all needs to be noted. Debt is such an important factor in your Financial Wellbeing, we have a whole step in our program dedicated to making a plan to pay it down. Visit our Manage Debt page to learn more.
  • Wants: If ‘needs’ are your everyday essentials, then ‘wants’ are the things you like to spend money on, but wouldn’t have a catastrophic effect on your life if you had to cut them out. This is one category where you want to get a bit more granular with sub-categories (it makes it easier in the long run we promise), such as:
    • Food and drink: Restaurant meals, pricey takeaway, a case of the finest soda water… Whatever wets your whistle in the food and beverage department.
    • Entertainment: Subscription services, live music, movie nights, Beethoven by candlelight… Each to their own.
    • Health & wellness: No, we’re not just talking about your gym membership. What about that collagen powder for your green smoothie? Your gym gear and running shoes? Those very blue vitamins and supplements? Expenses in this category can quickly add up, so don’t forget to include it.
    • Fashion and beauty: It’s pretty self-explanatory, but if you carve out some spending money each month to get the latest kicks on your feet or have a serious skincare regime, then those dollars go here.

Step 2: Put your savings priorities on a pedestal

What exactly are you saving towards? Priorities are important - especially when you’re torn between gallivanting around Europe and saving for a home. To help combat choice paralysis ask yourself: “What are my key financial goals?”

This will help you break down your priorities into bite-sized chunks so you can set savings goals (in fact, we have a handy guide to help you do exactly this). Divide the total amount into a monthly savings target or use our goals feature in the ANZ App to easily set and track your goal. Did you know, on average, people with savings goals save 2 times faster than those without so it’s worth setting one to really get ahead.

And you don’t need to stop at just one. Sure you might add a little more to the more urgent buckets or have a number one goal you’re working towards, but chipping away at different savings goals can help you get there faster. In the ANZ Plus App you can set multiple goals to work towards simultaneously and see their progress all on one page. *Chef’s kiss*

Step 3: Build your blooming budget

After tidying up your finances like a pro, you’re in the perfect position to create a realistic and achievable budget. With the ANZ Budget Planner, simply input a few bits and bobs (income, expenses and other monthly costs – the usual suspects), and voila! This useful tool creates a new budget for you to use. And the best part? You can add and remove certain elements so that it’s as detailed as you like.

Bonus step: Review and refresh

When you catch wind of changes on the horizon (like the rumble of rate rises that blanket the news), it’s a sign you need to check in on your budget. Whether it’s through our Budget Planner, or your own tailored spreadsheet, review your spending habits and adjust your budget like a boss. Spring has never felt so blooming marvelous.

Tips to spring clean your finances and watch your money bloom
Financial Wellbeing Coach

Spring clean your finances with confidence

Take the time this spring to sort out and manage your finances smartly. This can help you save and budget in the long-term, no matter your life goals.

Tidy up your finances



The information set out above is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on the information, you should consider whether the information is appropriate for you having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. By providing this information ANZ does not intend to provide any financial advice or other advice or recommendations. You should seek independent financial, legal, tax and other relevant advice having regard to your particular circumstances.