Creating a budget

Making a budget is the best way to achieve your goals. By knowing exactly where your money’s going you’ll be able to make small adjustments that really pay off in the future. If you want to track your spending, have a look at the ASIC Moneysmart track my spend app – you’ll be able to keep track of your expenses on the go.

The easiest way to do this is to consider all money going in, and out, of your account and what you have remaining.

Incoming money  $150  Parents, work etc. 
Outgoing money $100  Bills, entertainment, food etc.
Remainder $50 Savings

Other expenses you may want to consider to include, especially as you move out of home and out on your own:

Managing a budget

It can be easy to lose track of where you’re spending your money. Have a look at your bank statement and see where you’re spending. If you notice you’re spending a lot of money on coffee or magazines for example, ask yourself if you really need to be buying these so often as they could be pushing your goals further away.

If you need a little help, follow the RACQ Budget Planner. You’ll be able to see exactly how much you can save each month and really get your savings rolling.

If you want a little extra help making a savings plan, or sticking to it, have a chat to someone you trust like your parents or another family member. If you want any advice about bank accounts or interest rates, RACQ Bank has specialists who can help you make the most of your money.

Setting up the right accounts

Maximise your savings, by having the right accounts set up to manage your money.

Bank accounts

With a bit of hunting, you’ll find accounts that won’t charge you if you want to spend your money, and savings accounts that’ll help your balance grow. View your bank accounts as ‘buckets’. Have one bucket for spending and one for saving. By separating them you won’t risk accidentally spending money you should be saving to reach a goal.

a. Transactional accounts (spend bucket)

Your transactional account will link through to a Visa debit card, or similar, so you can access your money through eftpos and ATMs. Your transactional account is what you’ll use for your spending.

b. Savings accounts (savings bucket)

Putting money aside is a great habit to get into and will help you achieve your goals. Whether you’re after a new car, holiday, or just want to save for the future – having a solid savings plan will help you get there. When you’re opening a savings account, look for one that has no account fees and a high interest rate. The higher the interest rate, the more money you’ll be making!

Superannuation and retirement

Superannuation, also known as Super, is a way to save money while you work and provide an income when you retire. A super fund will manage your super money on your behalf, making decisions on where to invest your money, based on the option you choose. If you don’t choose an option, super funds have a default fund that they will allocate your money to.

You can either choose which super fund to use, or have your employer choose for you. We’ve got a list of what to look for in a good super fund:

  • Investment returns over the past 5 years (compare apples with apples – look at the fees and what period the returns are based on. E.g, a 5-year average return for the period ending 30 June may be quite different from a 5-year average return for the period ending 30 September)
  • Investment Choices available to you
  • Fees, makes sure you know what you are paying for – lower fees don’t always mean a good super fund
  • Websites like Canstar or ASIC’s Moneysmart are helpful if you want to compare different super accounts. If you’re after more information on fees or investment options you can check out the product disclosure statement (PDS) or the super fund’s website.

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