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Easy ways to budget

Budgeting is nothing new, but it's a classic for a reason. Why? Because setting a budget does help you stay on track with your financial goals and stay in control of your money. And the best part is, there's no 'right' way to budget. Creating the perfect budget looks a little different to everyone, so it's about finding what works best for you. Get started with our budgeting tips.

Budgeting hacks worth trying

Ready to get stuck in? These two methods are a great place to start for first-time budgeters or those who might need a bit of direction.

50:30:20 rule

This budgeting method separates your income into three buckets. Here's how it could work:

50% - needs and essential living expenses like rent, bills and groceries.

30% - wants like eating out, and lifestyle costs like going to the gym and buying clothes.

20% - savings, your emergency savings, investing, or making extra KiwiSaver contributions.

The 'multiple account method'

You could budget by separating your money into different accounts, each account having a set amount to spend on everyday items or bills. The 'multiple account' method can help you keep your things separate. That way you won't dip in to money you need to pay off your bills and other expenses. For example:

1.

Commitments - such as bills, paying off debt and making rent or mortgage payments.

2.

Essentials - like your groceries, transport and health costs.

3.

Lifestyle - such as buying clothes, movie tickets or eating out.

4.

Savings - bigger things you'd want to buy, for emergencies, or to invest in your future.

Not sure how much you need in each account? It's best to start with how much you earn, then subtract your essential expenses. Then, work out how much you can save and how much you want to spend on lifestyle costs.

Use our budget template to help you get started.

Budgeting in four steps

1. Add it all up

How much do you have to work with? Start by adding up everything you earn in a month. Then look at where your money is currently going. For most, this starts by writing down all your expenses.

2. Pick how to budget

Whether it's the 50:30:20 rule, the 'multiple account method' or another budgeting tool, you've got to choose what's right for you. Make it easy. The easier it is, the more likely you are to stick to it!

3. Be realistic

We often try to reduce the time to reach our goals by increasing our regular savings, giving us less actual spending money week to week. Watch out for this and try not to stretch yourself too thin.

4. Track regularly

Check your spending against what you planned to spend according to your budget. If you overspent, look for ways to cut spending if you can. If not, you could allocate that to savings or debt repayment.

Managing your family's budget

If you're the one in charge of the family budget, here are some tips to help:

  • Create a separate account for automatic and bill payments. This will help you keep track of outgoings, stick to your budget and have enough money on hand when bills come in.
  • Look for easy ways to stretch your budget further. Try finding your largest household expenses, like power, and work out if you can get a better deal elsewhere.
  • If you're with ASB, explore your options on FastNet Classic internet banking or the ASB Mobile Banking app. It's easy to manage your account names, automatic payments, and more.

Tips to keep on top of spending

Making small changes to the way you spend can make a big difference in the long term. Stay in control with our tips and tricks.

Extra help if you need it with ASB Support Finder

We all need a bit of help sometimes. ASB's Support Finder is here to help you find financial support that might be available to you and your family. 

Find out more

The information and tools suggested are intended to provide general information only. It is not financial advice and does not take into consideration your personal needs and financial circumstances. You should consider seeking financial advice before making any decision based on this information.

Financial WellbeingBudgeting Tips And Tools - How To Budget | ASB