The power of budgeting

A budget can help you work out what you're spending money on and when... 

Are you aware you need to change your spending habits, but not sure where to start? A budget can help you get back to basics and work out what’s going where and when.

Whatever your plans, a budget can help you to:

  • Get more organised with your finances
  • Cut down spending in areas you have a tendency to overspend, like clothes shopping or eating out―this can significantly help you cut your debt
  • Save for a specific goal like going overseas or buying your first property.

Once you’ve set up your budget, it can be easier to keep track of your spending, change your habits and reallocate your funds to achieve different goals. 

How to build a basic budget 

First, work out your income. Include your salary, plus any bonuses and investment income. Then, divide your money into six main buckets:

  1. Living expenses—include rates, utilities, telephone, groceries, medicines, clothes, education, pets, child care and home maintenance.
  2. Transport—include petrol, vehicle registration, repairs, parking, and public transport and taxi fares.
  3. Loans, credit card and store accounts—include home loans and personal loans.
  4. Taxes, fees and charges—include taxes on any investments, and fees and duties.
  5. Insurance and superannuation—include life, health, super, home and contents, car, business and any other insurance.
  6. Leisure and entertainment—include holidays, eating out, takeaways, sporting memberships, newspapers, books, music and gifts.

For each bucket, indicate how much and how often you need to pay—weekly, fortnightly, monthly or annually.

Managing and sticking to your budget

Once you’ve crunched the numbers you can start looking at areas you can make savings.

You don’t have to do it all by hand. There are plenty of tools to help you manage your finances:

  • A simple online tool like AMP’s Budget Planner Calculator can help you tally up your expenses and work out how much you have left over.
  • Apps like MoneySmart’s TrackMySPEND allow you to track your personal expenses on the go.

Like to know more?

Here’s a quick checklist to help you get started. And if you’d like to know more, you can:


Managing money

Learn more about managing money in our free education module

Start now

Want to keep up to date with the latest news?

Sign up now

Important information

Show more

© AMP Life Limited. This provides general information and hasn’t taken your circumstances into account. It’s important to consider your particular circumstances before deciding what’s right for you. Although the information is from sources considered reliable, AMP does not guarantee that it is accurate or complete. You should not rely upon it and should seek qualified advice before making any investment decision. Except where liability under any statute cannot be excluded, AMP does not accept any liability (whether under contract, tort or otherwise) for any resulting loss or damage of the reader or any other person.