Budgeting 101

If you read my post on why I changed my degree, you’ll know that I am passionate about personal finance. If you just know me in general, you’ll also know I love personal finance as well as a good Excel spreadsheet!
(Excel is where I have created my budget)

I thought I’d do a quick post on the basics of budgeting that I think is a great place to start when we’re looking to reach a financial goal (big or small).

Before we get to more practicals, here’s a great rule to follow if you find following a  written budget difficult…

If you can’t afford it up front, don’t buy it! 
I’ve done it, and I’ve seen friends and family do it, where things that aren’t necessities are purchased either on Afterpay or a Credit Card that really shouldn’t and don’t need to be. This year I put myself on a shopping ban and you know what, I haven’t missed buying new clothes and shoes at all (they were my kryptonite). I got some cash for my birthday and some gift cards so I used that to buy a few new items for my wardrobe but now it’s back to the ban. Clothes are just one example (Maccas is another, lol), but I’d encourage you to think about something that you’re spending money on that you don’t really need to be and maybe start saving what you want to spend instead of buying it or put that amount onto a loan you’re paying off. And also, if you’re budgeting well, you should still be able to treat yo self every now and then.

Anyway, that bit is for free!
It’s all for free, but here’s the budgeting part…

Over the last 9 years, since I started working full time, I’ve tweaked my personal budget a billion times and still do, but here is what it all comes down to in 3 simple breakdowns…

First, list all expenses. I define expenses as all the necessary things I need to pay for in a year. I have worked out my expenses for a 12 month period and then divide that by the number of pays I get and set aside that amount of money. For me, I get paid fortnightly so my yearly expenses are divided by 26. Some expenses may be: phone bill, rent, mortgage, health insurance, haircuts, car costs (rego, insurance, services, fuel), the list can go on. Depending on your age and circumstances, you might have only a few small expenses or some bigger ones but remember, expenses are the essentials.

Next, compare my expenses to my income (what I earn). I understand that it can be a bit overwhelming to do this if you’re working a casual job, but because you have a casual job shouldn’t be a reason not to budget. It probably is even more important to do up a budget if that is your circumstance. Now here’s the most important part – your expenses shouldn’t be more than your income. If that’s the case, we might need to take a look at what you’re defining as essentials, haha. Another thing would be to look at ways to decrease your expenses or increase your income.

Now the good part – saving and giving. With what is left over, after I’ve considered my income and expenses, is what I will use towards saving and giving (for those who are a part of a church and tithe, my tithe doesn’t come out of this giving allocation – it is included in expenses as it’s a non-negotiable for me). By doing this part of my budget last, it means that I can still be generous and still save, but I’m not struggling to pay my rent or bills because it’s all within my means. It also means that I have been able to set achievable and attainable goals too!

You may find it difficult to start with and hate setting aside money, but I promise that it will get easier and just become a habit and your future self with love you for it!

If you would like a little help starting out, or are finding it hard to differentiate what’s a necessity and what’s not, let me know. I would love to help you out (and already have a Spreadsheet we could start out on, haha).

I hope this has been helpful in some way or another!

Han, xo

Why I Changed My Uni Degree​

Earlier this year I put a post on my Instagram about being accepted into Deakin University and had said: “I’ll put a post up soon to fill you in on why I decided to change degrees”.

Soon turned out to be a month later, but better late than never!

I have always been intrigued by the statistic that finance is one of the biggest topics that couples fight about. I’ve also always been determined not to be apart of that statistic. I don’t want my family, my friends or my future children and even grandchildren to be apart of it either. So I’ve decided to dedicate the next three/four years to learn about every aspect of commerce and financial planning to help myself and others be the best we can be with our finances. This has meant that I’ve swapped degrees and am changing university’s, but that’s okay. I’ve been able to score some credit points and I feel good that what I’m about to start I am 100% passionate about.

I have always loved knowing where my money is going and how I can best spend, save and share it but I have had to figure it out by myself (although, kudos to my Dad for teaching me the in’s and out’s of Excel which is where I work all my money magic, haha). Unfortunately, there’s not really a subject in school called “Personal Finance” where you can learn how to deal with money in the real world, but I wish there was! I wish there would have been something there for me when I got my very first job at 15 that would instill great money behaviours and patterns within me that would help me as an adult.

Last year I got to thinking…

What if I could be the person who helps people begin to manage their money well…
What if I could be the person who helps people shape positive money beliefs, understanding that it’s okay to have money…
What if I could be the person who helps people spend, save and share their money so that not only they benefit but those around them do too…

Money is so important and I think it’s the most powerful resource we have been entrusted with. I feel like not enough people talk about it, especially in a positive way and also out of a Christian view, but it is something that needs to be talked about! I’m passionate about helping people – young and old – understand money and why it’s good to have, why it’s good to be generous, why it’s wise to invest and why budgeting is always a good idea.

I’m inspired to shift the stigma around money, the statistic it’s created in relationships, and I’m excited to see the freedom it releases in people’s lives not only for them but for those around them.

I’m excited to learn more about money and although I’m not qualified (yet!), I’m excited to hear your stories and experiences with money and help you where you need it (e.g. setting a killer budget)! There is no judgment; nothing will shock me – if you have a bucket load of debt or a bucket load in the bank, I want to hear from you.

Can’t wait to share the journey with you!

Han, xo