Tightening up your household budget

At Fortress we often set our clients some homework: to tighten up their household budget to see how much surplus cash they really have.  Remember, it’s the money left over at the end of the month that you can use to start building your wealth.

Having surplus cash to add to your investments is not a pipe dream.  But if having your money working harder for you is not motivation enough to tighten your budget, here are some handy tips.

Remember, cutting back may mean a bigger investment portfolio, being debt free sooner or even a more lavish retirement.

 

Food

Usually the biggest bill in any household, but luckily, it’s one of the easiest to diminish. Many families can reduce their weekly food bill by as much as 50% by menu planning.  Also, look beyond the supermarket. Taking the time to shop around your local butcher and greengrocer can result in valuable savings.

Utilities

The answer to saving here is to review and compare. Do your research and check out deals from different providers. This is not the most exciting task, but one to two hours on the phone or online could save you several hundred dollars a year.

Petrol

Potentially another large household expense. The best way to cut-back on petrol is not to use it. Walk, ride or use public transport whenever possible. Car-pooling is also a great cost-saver. Make a list of your errands over a fortnight and try to get them done in the same area at once.

Entertainment

Everyone automatically reaches for their wallet here, but fun can be reasonably priced, or even free. Check out exhibitions, markets, walks and local fairs. Host a movie or games night or pack a picnic and head to the beach or a national park. See our list of fun (cost effective) activities to keep the kids busy here.

More thrifty hints…

If you’re terrible with money, downloading an app to track spending could be your salvation. At Fortress, we use & recommend the Fortress Wealth Hub.  This smart tool syncs with your bank account to track where your money goes, and automatically categorises your spending for you.

Finally, if you really struggle with self-control, many banks offer accounts with online-only access, or require you to go in to make a withdrawal. This can prevent you going on mad sprees with your EFTPOS.

The important thing is to take the first step.  Aim as big or small as you like. Cancel your newspaper subscription.  Take your own lunch to work.  Or think big by downsizing to a smaller (cheaper) home next time your lease is up.  Any saving is a good saving.

 

We’d love to hear from you! To book a free consultation, please book online or contact us on info@fortressfs.com.au

Fortress Financial Solutions founder Chris Black is an award-winning financial planner based in Toowoomba who specialises in superannuation, investing, business succession, cash flow management, retirement planning and personal insurances (including life insurance, income protection, total permanent disability and trauma insurance).

Corporate Authorised Representative of Magnitude Group Pty Ltd ABN 54 086 266 202, AFSL 221557.

This market update was compiled by BTFG Research.

This publication has been prepared by Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL 233714 (Westpac) and is current as at 7 December 2017. This document has been prepared for use only by advisers and clients of BT Advice, Magnitude Group Pty Ltd (trading as Magnitude Financial Planning) and Securitor Financial Group Ltd (“authorised users”). BT Financial Group is the wealth management arm of the Westpac group of companies (“Westpac Group”). This publication does not constitute financial product advice, investment advice or recommendations of any kind. This publication has been prepared without taking account of any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs, and so the reader should consider its appropriateness having regard to these factors before acting on it. This publication is an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter nor relied upon as such. The information in this publication may contain material provided directly by third parties and is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be accurate at its issue date. While this material is published with necessary permission, no company in the Westpac Group accepts responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of, or endorses this material. Except where contrary to law, we intend by this notice to exclude liability for this material. It is not the intention of Westpac or any other member of the Westpac Group that this publication be used as the primary source of readers’ information but as an adjunct to their own resources and training. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.

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