Thursday, January 23, 2014

Not for the faint at heart

Warning! This post will contain words like finances and budget if these scare the bejeebies out of you then well to be honest I recommend you keep reading... Trust me.

A couple of the items on my 2014 'I Will' list came together in the form of a short free course provided by open universities Open2Study and Macquarie University. The course is financial literacy and as boring as that may sound I sincerely believe if you can find about two hours a week you should enrol to do it.

I've just completed week two, of a four week course, and with it I also completed a budget/financial plan for our family.

It was a serious relief to do so. No I didn't discover hundreds of dollars hiding behind the gas bill nor did I curse us all to beans on toast for a month. What happened was that I realised even if we do struggle some weeks, and even with our personal loan and credit card debt we are still, miraculously, in the green as my husband would say or to use my lecturers words we're in surplus.

Cross my heart and stick a pin in my eye I was bowled over by this fact. I honestly thought our budget would show we were spending far more than what we were earning. Both the husband and I, but mainly the husband, have a very bad habit of turning to the credit card for more than emergencies so for that reason alone I thought we'd be in the negative.

If you're reading along thinking " I know our budget and it's bad, there is no need to write it down" there is!
I used the budget planner on you can sign up for free and this allows you to save your budget and go back later to alter any changes. It's easy to use and comes with a heap of options including fast food and take out, school uniforms even dance lessons so you won't have to worry about missing any expenses.

Now if you are lucky enough to also come out in the green the planner will give you an amount for this. That figure is 'technically' how much you should be able to save in a year. Divide it by 52 and you'll get a much nicer to look at and easier to digest weekly figure, aim to save even half of that weekly figure a week and you're already doing better than you were before you started reading.

It's slow going, it will take you a year to see results, but going slow is better than standing still or worse going backwards. It's like that quote that relates to running...
It doesn't matter how slow you go you're still lapping everyone on the couch.

We want to get off the couch, even if it's $5 a week less than a dollar a day, you're still saving something.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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