Brussel sprouts and budgeting

Budgeting is to financial success as brussel sprouts are to robust health. We know that they are good for us but we just can’t seem to go there. While there are a wide range of tools and budget calculators freely available, it is often our mindset and approach that can hamper our progress. These insights will help you to move ahead.

Give yourself permission to get it wrong

  • If your first attempt to create a budget is 100 percent correct, it will be a minor miracle.
  • Expect that you will forget to include certain items – it doesn’t need to be perfect at the start.
  • Anticipate the budgeting process will be a work in progress.
  • Discipline needs to be developed, so at times you may not stick to your budget – this is not a failure or weakness. You are human, so dust yourself off and keep going.
  • Acknowledge that your budget will need revision over time as things change.

Pay yourself first

  • “I can pay my bills, but I just can’t save anything” – sound familiar? You’re not alone. The first item on your budget should be personal savings; a small contribution is ok to begin with as it is the principle that is important. An allocation to savings for your goals begins to reshape your relationship with money. It demonstrates respect for yourself and proves that you take your goals seriously.
  • Set your goals and then start saving.

Keep learning

  • Whether you use a spreadsheet, an app, an online tool or the back of an envelope, it is critical to write your budget down and update it as you go. Keep a record to reflect on.
  • If you have operated outside of your budget, think about what happened and why. These insights can help prevent you doing it again or confirm that it was the right decision.
  • Be mindful. Control your spending, not the other way around.

For the record, brussel sprouts are great when the preparation is right. The same is true of budgeting – it’s all in the mindset and approach.

Disclosure and disclaimer: RACQ Financial Planning Pty Ltd (RACQ FP) is a Corporate Authorised Representative (Representative No. 293929) of Actuate Alliance Services Pty Ltd, AFSL 240959, ABN 40 083 233 925 (Actuate). Actuate is a wholly owned subsidiary of IOOF Holdings Limited ABN 49 100 103 722. This document contains general advice and/or information prepared without taking into account any persons’ investment objectives, financial situation or needs. Investors should consider whether any general advice is appropriate having regard to their financial objectives, situation or needs and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement.