Snapshot of a journey from not budgeting to budgeting

Published on November 12, 2015 2:45 pm, by

To have a budget or not to have a budget?

Let’s be honest.  If you don’t have a budget it’s because you don’t want to.  You don’t want to commit the time.   You don’t want to really know that you’re going backwards or forward slower than you could be.  You may be in denial or you may think you earn enough to spend what you want.

I’ve thought all these things.  And I know that I can’t find the magic button to motivate you.  You have to want to.  You have to find your reason and make a commitment.  My reason was for holistic wellness.

Why I decided budgeting with MoneyBrilliant was a good idea

I wanted to know that I could afford my gym membership so I could stay fit and healthy.  I wanted to prioritise things like Women’s Health magazine.  I wanted to afford my weekly salmon dinner.  And most of all I wanted to be able to afford holidays and seeing my friends without worrying that I wouldn’t be able to pay a bill.

My introduction to MoneyBrilliant came just at the right time.  A friend of mine had emailed me her Excel budgeting template.  And it was a good one.  But oh my goodness the work involved, the red columns, the green columns, the formulas that I didn’t want to learn to adjust.

When I heard about the MoneyBrilliant app and that it automated stuff, I was in.  It showed me really quickly what I was spending in lots of different areas of my life – rent, groceries, gym, and music apps to name a few.  It also got me to question the things I wasn’t using or was spending more than I thought on.

Best of all, it took me about 30 minutes to join up, link my accounts and have a play.  Already I was on the budgeting track, now I knew where money was going, and it blew some of my guesses out of the water.

Let me share what I learnt during my MoneyBrilliant budgeting experience

From the initial sign up, account linking and play experience I had a few things that I wanted to change.  So I went to explore some more and discovered that my budget did itself.  It pulled through the last 3 months of data and averaged it in to the period I chose (monthly for me).

I learned I was spending too much on groceries.  I learned exactly how much my 3 school aged children were costing me, and it wasn’t pretty!!  I learned that I was spending more than I thought on my vices – wine and coffee.

And I was motivated.  I came back and I checked.  Every week I looked to see how my groceries were going.  I rediscovered Dan Murphys and Aldi.  I used my coffee machine more and went to the local café less.  I rang around and got a better price on electricity, gas and insurances.

What now?

I’m still motivated.  And even better, I no longer stress about my monthly credit card bill.  My savings are slowly creeping up.  And although I found very little I could cut down in regards to the cost of my children, the other things I did made me worry less about the money that was being spent on their sports, hobbies and education.

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Jen is an experienced banking professional who loves wine, coffee, finding a bargain and of course her three beautiful children. Since Jen's first budget led her to buy a home at 20, Jen has passionately helped others to make better decisions with their money.

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