Budget 2013 – How does yours stack up?

budgetIt’s virtually impossible to pick up a news paper or watch TV at the moment without being bombarded with debates about the latest budget reveal.  The reveal this week has inspired us to consider our own personal finances and the direction we’re heading with our bank balances and savings (or lack of).  Whether you’re saving for a house deposit, rental bond or holiday, most of us don’t just have the spare cash lying around.  Instead we need to commit to a plan.

Building up a reserve of savings can prove to be an incredibly tricky juggling act for most.  It seems that the more money we make, the more expenses we find to spend it on.  As soon as a pay rise comes in we suddenly realise that we can now get that gym membership we’ve been talking about for months, or the Foxtel upgrade that we thought we couldn’t afford, and so on… until before we know it, we’re again spending more than our income.  This seems to be a fairly universal problem – no matter how much we make, we always seem to increase our spending until we’ve reached our limit.

So just how do our friends always seem to manage to have nice cars, go on great holidays and stay on top of current fashion trends?  With ‘budgets’ featuring in every headline and news story at the moment, now’s as good a time as any to take a closer look at your own spending habits and see where you can begin to cut costs to increase your savings each month.

With interest rates at an all time low, Bacchus Marsh home owners may want to look at re-financing their loans.  If your car guzzles petrol, try filling up when petrol prices are low and consider walking, riding or catching public transport when travelling short distances during the day – or organise a car pool to work or for school pick-ups and drop-offs.  If you’re drowning in credit card debt, pick the card with the highest interest and try to pay off a little more than required each month (this will become easier once the balance starts to drop down.  Make a list of all your income and expenditures and begin the process of prioritising what’s essential and what you can do without.

If you have discovered any new ways to save cash or increase your bank balance, whether it’s making your own cleaning products or selling used items on eBay, please share them here.