Posts Tagged ‘budget’

Financial trouble? Beat it with these budgeting tips!

September 30, 2008

The media is filled with financial crisis at the moment. Huge economic shifts are happening and it can often feel as if we are powerless to do anything about it. Many people don’t enjoy their jobs but feel as if they have no choice when they are trapped by financial circumstance. In order to get a new perspective on the financial situation, I interviewed Michelle House who runs www.SecretBudget.net . Her focus is on helping people to budget and manage their finances to improve their financial situation.

How can people make the best of these uncertain economic times?

Firstly, take a deep breath!  I think people can panic before they know the facts of their situation.  I highly recommend that you sit down and do a budget.  Write it down, don’t walk around with it in your head!  By sitting down and taking an honest look at your situation, you can determine if your expenses outweigh your income.  If they do, it’s time to knuckle down.  If they don’t, congratulations! 

But, it is really time to make sure that you are putting away some of that money.  With the people that I have coached in household money management they have all agreed that  it’s not reasonable to have just one party responsible for the budget.  It’s up to both parties in the relationship to be responsible for the money, it’s not fair to leave the responsibility with just one party.  If you’re on your own, it’s up to you!

What are your key principles around money?

  •          Be accountable – know what you are using your money for.  Don’t impulse buy/spend.
  •          Budget – have it written down, not just in your head!  Review it regularly
  •          Honour it – you worked hard for it!
  •          Make it work for you – aim to not work for IT
  •          Pay yourself first – the first money principle I learnt from my mum who learnt from The Richest Man in Babylon

Tell us a bit about your business

www.secretbudget.net is a website that offers free tools for managing the household budget.  It also includes a growing database of savings tips and ideas that is contributed to by online members.  The Personal Budget Organiser is a wallet that i designed after needing one myself!  I have always found it difficult to keep track of my balance with cards, seeing cash is much easier and curbs impulse buys!

Why did you start your own business? Is it better financially than working as an employee?  

I’ve had my own businesses since I was 22, so I only ever had 2 full-time jobs with other employers.  What I love the most about being my own boss is that I can constantly challenge myself to achieve more.  I can also change the course of the business as I need to and of course when I need flexibility – it’s there!  It does require a lot of self discipline and constant review of where I want to be.  As I continue to grow the business I can see the financial rewards coming.  Initially though, it’s probably harder than working for someone else!

You are also a Mum. What are the 3 most important things to tell /show your children about money?

.            * We don’t just buy things when we’re out eg drinks, lollies etc…  we plan what we are doing and what we’ll be coming home with.  My 5 year old is really starting to see the value in this and takes her own pocket money if she wants a treat.  It is decided before we go though…

                * We consider everything we buy e.g. we limit take-aways and other entertainment so that we have more money for holidays, we make our own kids treats and then put the saved money in a jar – teaching the value of making your own

                * They are aware of the business and that we have customers that pay us money, that pay bills, and then what’s left is profit.  We also have a game called Cash Flow for kids that they’re about to start playing and learning from.

Is there anything else you would like to share with the readers?

Money does indeed make the world go around.  In these times of “financial crisis” that are being talked about its’ time to take stock, work out if you may need to get another job to boost your income, consider selling anything that you cannot afford.  These times come around every 7 years or so…. now’s the time to be really, really responsible with your money!

My best tip – Reduce expenses by 10%, increase income by 10% and you’ll be up 20%!!

Michelle House from www.SecretBudget.net

Michelle House from http://www.SecretBudget.net

 

Get your FREE budgeting tips here!
Michelle House is bringing up a young family and manages the finances of a family business in property maintenance. She has also become well known as a budgeting expert, thanks to the creation of her practical budgeting tool called the ‘Personal Budget Organiser’, or PBO. The PBO works as a portable filing system within a wallet – perfect for organising money, receipts, or anything that will help you budget. Teaming her product with a useful website, www.SecretBudget.net
 Michelle hopes to inspire people to ‘get back to basics’ with their understanding of expenditure and money.

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Money…5 Financial Tips

August 2, 2008

Someone we know just won the lottery here in Australia. At least this proves it is not an urban myth!
But a lottery win is not a financial plan – and for most of us, we can’t rely on luck for our financial future. We need to make active choices every month to make the most of the money we have, and make sure we are financially secure for the future. With the financial doom and gloom in the media at the moment, you need to know that you CAN make a difference to your financial situation with some behavioural change.

Here are some of the top tips to help your with the finances:

  1. Put aside 10% of your income (before bills) every time you are paid. It doesn’t matter how much this is, but put it aside into a “Cash – don’t touch” account. It will build up and you can use it as a basis for investment. You also have a buffer for tough times and unexpected situations.
  2. Be aware of your spending. Try keeping a budget and record receipts, even just for a week. If you add up those coffees and lunches out, you will see how much you are spending. There are some great free tools and information for budgeting at this site http://www.secretbudget.net/about/about/budgeting-tips.html
  3. Declutter your life and sell it on eBay. Be ruthless and go through your stuff. Do you really need those clothes or the clutter in the garaage? Go through it all and sell what you can, and give the rest to charity. Put the money from the sale into your 10% account for investments. Warning: do not browse the For Sale at the same time as selling!
  4. Get educated about finance and investment. If you don’t know anything about money, except that you need it, then you need to do some reading! I recommend “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki as a good start to understanding money – or “Why we want you to be rich” by Kiyosaki and Trump.
  5. Don’t watch adverts or become a victim for specials and sales. You will spend money you don’t need to because it sounds like a bargain. This tip and 27 others can be found at http://www.marcandangel.com/2008/07/17/28-unique-bits-of-financial-brilliance/

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