Ms Betterhome

Budgeting 1
October 6, 2009, 10:33 pm
Filed under: home & hearth | Tags:

Over the past couple of years, I’ve gone from a very low, sporadic income to a solid, reasonably high income (attached to a 3 year contract). I’m grateful that I took on the project of ‘learning about money’ just as I started my new contract. Reading a couple of Anita Bell’s books, plus Suze Orman’s The Courage to be Rich got me started saving, and helped me consolidate my goal of buying my own place by my 45th birthday.

Around that time Mr B & I started to think about shacking up, & the fact that we have similar habits with money helped us make that transition (which was scary for both of us for different reasons).

What I did right away to get a handle on my finances:

*I rolled the balance of my existing credit card over to a 0% interest for 6 months/low interest thereafter number – and paid it off. I still use the card, but pay it off in full each month.

*I switched health funds using iselect, and now pay about $30 less each month for health insurance (I have hospital cover with maximum excess, plus the top level of extras, for my glasses, dental visits etc).

*I read the ‘fees’ brochure from my credit union, & realised if I only took cash out of a credit union atm once a week, & used a Visa debit card for all non-cash purchases, I would pay a flat $5 fee per month, rather than racking up random fees & charges. I still take out $200 cash a week, pay rent by eft, pay bills by BPAY (also free), & then automatically transfer my savings out of the everyday account. I set aside money for uni fees & other planned expenses in a separate credit union account.

Generally, the $200 cash covers all my groceries, travel & everyday expenses; unless I’ve especially left money in my account for extras (ie dr’s appointments, theatre tickets etc etc).

*I opened an ING online savings account that I use as my ‘house deposit’ fund – the money goes in, but doesn’t come out ☺

*I started carrying a water bottle & a snack (just dried fruit and nuts) everywhere. I take a home-made lunch to work everyday, too.

The peace of mind these changes have given me over the past 2  years has been incredible – I never lie awake at night fretting about paying the rent anymore, and I save much more than I spend. I’ve made other changes, too, but they can wait til another day.


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