UBank notes uptake of healthy budgeting practices post-2020

A father and daughter sit in the kitchen, high fiving.

In under one year, almost half of Australians have adopted new budgeting strategies. Indeed according to recently released statistics from UBank less than 20% of the population were using proper savings tactics in July 2020, that number is now nearly 50%!

UBank chief executive, Philippa Watson says that if 2020 has taught us anything, it's that simply putting aside money for a rainy day isn't enough to ride out economic uncertainty. She says, "It's encouraging to see Australians continuing to implement the positive savings behaviours they picked up during the pandemic well into 2020."

A stitch in time ...

It seems fairly simple, but having a budget (or a plan) can really help when it comes to money. If you constantly worry about your bank balance and struggle to make ends meet, being prepared with even a simple budget can help to at least stay on top of things. So how do you do this? Let's run through a few simple steps.

1. Take stock

First up, take stock of everything. This means reviewing all your outgoings and incomings over the period of at least one month. Be sure to make notes on any direct debits you have set up. The easiest way to do this is to scroll through your transaction history in your online banking, either on a web browser or via the app.

2. Prioritise

Next, make a list of all your regular expenses. Prioritise payments from the highest to lowest. The highest being things that you can't easily rid yourself of, such as rent or home loan payments. The lowest being stuff such as streaming services that can be cancelled at any time.

3. Get serious

After you've done this, work from the bottom of your list - from lowest to highest priority. As you go, see if there is anything you could do without. Remember, you can usually cancel streaming services like Netflix and take them up again whenever. If you're worried about not having any decent entertainment, go old school, join your local library and see if you can borrow DVDs for free.

4. Plan ahead

Once you've been through your direct debits, comb through your other expenses. By this we mean variable expenses that you could have some control over. You could split these into categories such as: groceries, transport, dining out, entertainment and so forth.

This will give you an idea of both where your money is going and in what areas you can cut back. So, for example, if you find that you spend a lot on takeaway or dining out, think about meal prepping instead on one of your days off. You could give yourself a monthly or weekly budget for each category.

As Watson says, "It might sound obvious, but there is a direct link between budgeting behaviours and reaching your financial goals."

Keep it fresh

Once you've been through this list and implemented all these changes, give yourself a month or so to see if your finances start to look a bit healthier. If you don't see much of a difference, or you do and you want to up the ante and save more money, then you can think about reviewing bigger expenses.

Could you switch home loans to one with less fees or a lower interest rate? Or are you paying too much on your energy bills? Use Mozo's website to compare products and prices and see whether or not you could be getting a sweeter deal.

Lastly, you'll want to have a top notch savings account to put all this money you're saving in. Head to Mozo's compare savings accounts page to see what options are out there, or have a look at the list below for a sneak peak.

Compare savings accounts - last updated 18 October 2021

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