Struggling with savings? This 4-step budgeting plan can help you!
When it comes to saving money, a 4-step plan combining a visualization of spending, understanding your core monthly balance, setting realistic goals and establishing consistency will put you on the pathway to success.
Step 1: See how you spend!
It seems obvious, but having visibility over what you spend against your income is the first step in establishing good saving habits. Seeing where your money goes over the course of a month is an easy way to quickly determine areas that could be reduced when setting up a budget.
You may discover spending patterns that will surprise you, but ultimately gain clarity over when and how you are spending your money.
Having a bank account or financial tool which tracks your spending for you can be valuable. For example, our Insights feature automatically tracks your spending over the month or pay cycle to give you a solid overview.
Step 2: Work out your core!
Once you have a better picture of where your money goes, you will understand the total of your core expenses against your income.
Core expenses are fixed and regular costs, like rent, insurance, utilities, phone bills, transportation and monthly subscriptions (Netflix/Spotify/gym etc). These are important because they are predictable and easy to factor into a budget.
Once you calculate your regular, core expenses, subtract that number away from your income to get a rough idea of how much money you have left over for other, lifestyle-based expenses.
These types of expenses could be groceries, shopping, going out to eat or drink and other entertainment. These are the categories of expenses that will form the pot of money that you can save money on. Our Insights feature makes categorizing these easier than ever! It helps break down what you spend into easy to understand segments.
Step 3: Set some savings goals!
We all have aspirations when it comes to our money. For some, these could be lofty goals like buying a house or a long trip around the world. Whatever your ambition is with your money, it’s important to have a goal in mind.
Saving towards something is always a more powerful incentive, whether that’s a new mobile phone or a summer holiday. Think of what you want and turn it into your goal, it could be short-term or long-term.
Once you have a goal in mind, assign a value and a date to it (how much you need to save and when you want to finish it by). This allows you to break the bigger goal down into realistic and achievable monthly or even weekly targets against your lifestyle expenses.
If possible, set up different saving pots for short-term and long-term goals. With our Savings Goals feature you can do this with a tap in the app. This can serve as a great motivator for reaching your goal to see your progress as a percentage each time you open the app.
Now that you know what you want to save up for and how much you need to get there, the last step is to establish some good habits.
Step 4: Consistency is the key!
For people who are paid monthly, when that paycheck comes in you should immediately set aside the amount you need for your core expenses and your savings targets. Moving this money aside allows you to work out how much you can spend for the month on your lifestyle-based expenses.
For people who are paid more irregularly, you should work on a percentage basis, so when your pay fluctuates you are still setting enough aside to reach your saving goals. A simple way to start could be saving anything between 10-15%.
This isn’t always possible, life is unpredictable and unexpected costs can occur. With this, it's important to keep flexibility in mind so you don’t get discouraged from sticking to your routine. You may need to readjust your savings goals, but not losing sight of them is the key to success.
Being prepared is important, so knowing how a purchase you make now will affect your goals later can be valuable. Our Artificial Intelligence helps you to make those decisions in realtime.
As part of our Insights tool, we map out your future balance based on your typical expenses, so you have the clarity to decide if you can afford to buy the item now or if it’s better to wait.
This 4-step budgeting plan will help you to establish some good habits that help you save money and give you full control of it.