You can use this calculator to get a good idea where your money regularly goes and compare your spending to what we think is a pretty balanced budget. It doesn’t cover absolutely everything, however, if you want to get a handle on your regular spending, this is a great place to start.
IT LOOKS LIKE ALL UP YOU'RE EARNING $0 AND SPENDING $0 EACH YEAR.
THAT MEANS YOU'RE EARNING $0 MORE THAN YOU'RE SPENDING.
From what we've heard from young people, one of the best ways to budget is just to prioritise your spending. That means paying for all the things that are necessary to your survival first (like rent, electricity, food and water) and the not-so-important things after.
Splurge money is for partying, eating out and impulse buying. We think a bit of money spent in the moment is important to some peoples happiness. This includes takeaway coffees and food, clothes, shoes, gadgets, tickets, and anything else if it's an impulse buy, and it definitely includes ciggarettes, alcohol and any money spent on partying or socialising.
Future You is for your financial goals. What do you want to buy, that you don't have enough money for right now? Things that Future You will be like 'wow, thanks Past Me for saving up. These can be fun things, or practical things. Holidays, cars, new gadgets, appliances, education... the list goes on.
Daily grind money is for things you need to survive. It covers food that you buy get from the shops and cook at home, bus money, running your car, rent and utilities, a phone, clothes (when you actually need them) and visits to the doctor and dentist.
We find that having different bank accounts for different areas of spending really useful. So, an account for Daily Grind, one for Future You, and one for Splurge.
To do this, you will need to contact your bank and ask them to set up your accounts. Ask them for help choosing types of accounts that have no/low fees. Some banks might even give you a fee waiver (that means no fees) if you ask them.
Having separate cards for our Splurge and Daily Grind accounts is useful.
That way, when you buy toilet paper, food shopping or medicine, you pay with your Daily Grind card, and when you're out partying, buying lunch or impulse buying new shoes that you really don't need, you can use your Splurge card.
It's a way of helping yourself to prioritise your cash, and stick to budget.
There are heaps of other things people use to keep on-top of their budgets.
We've made a list of apps, resources and websites to checkout:
CREATE YOUR FUTURE
Create have a section of their website all about money, with information about banking, Centrelink, debt, loans and grants.
We love Barefoot’s book, but unfortunately it does cost money. However, he does have a blog that’s totally free, where he shares great tips and updates about economics.
This is a government website which has heaps and heaps of information on it.
If you need to live on a really tight budget, this site will be your best friend. It can help you find free or cheap services, food, housing, healthcare… and the list goes on.
Daily Budget App
We’ve used this little app before, to great success. It helps you track the money you spend each day. It’s a bit of a commitment, but if you’re serious about getting on top of things, it’s definitely useful. There are so many other budgeting apps that might suit you better, so if this one isn’t for you, have a look at some others.
Centrepay is a government service which pays your bills straight out of your Centrelink payments. It’s good if you’re not used to budgeting for bills but is only for people receiving Centrelink.
Grants for young care leavers
There are plenty of grants and loans available to young care leavers. Read about them here.
National Debt Hotline
If you are in serious debt, it’s worth giving these guys a call for free advice about what to do.
If you need help getting your money organised, you can get help from a financial counsellor. This page lists some free services which offer financial counselling in Adelaide.
Aboriginal Financial Counselling Service
The Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement offers this free confidential financial counselling service for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.