Published on November 22, 2016 8:43 pm, by Jen Bakker
Now that we have released our new app, we thought it’s the perfect time to share what we love and what you should look out for in the budget. To find the budget, navigate to the Manage my Spending dashboard which houses the things you need in this money priority.
If your finances are relatively simple, the budget is quick and easy to set up. If your finances are complicated, you may need to put some extra effort in to get it right. But once it’s set up, it’s gold. And this is why –
It’s a cash flow budget over 12 months. You can forward plan your entire year. Your monthly spending is based on your averages over the last three months. In addition, if you have a big annual expense in the next twelve months you can go to that specific month and put it in there. Want to commit to spending less in some categories? Change the amount in the budget, and we will track it for you.
It’s pre-populated. We use the last three months of categorised transactions and average them out to a monthly figure. Bills are treated a little differently; they go into the month that they are due. If anything looks a little funny, you can recategorise or hide transactions from the budget, and the averages will recalculate and be displayed for you.
The tracking looks great. Go into the current month’s budget at any time and see if you are trending ahead of or behind your planned spend. This may help you make decisions on things like eating out or eating at home, having 1 or 2 takeaway coffees a day this week, or even contributing additional money to debt repayment or savings.
You can move categories between Essential and Lifestyle. We made assumptions about what is a “need” and what is a “want”. You might think differently. You can move categories between lifestyle & essentials, to reflect what you need versus what you want and use this information to help you make better decisions about your money.
You can change the category level figures. This means that you can forward plan expenses or commit to spending less. All the average figures are editable, so you can accept that you will spend around the same amount on average as you have been over the last three months, or you can change the figure to match your intentions for the next twelve months.
The 12-month calendar will show your monthly and yearly surplus and deficit figures. If you are budgeting for a specific month, you will see whether you will spend more or less than you earn that month. The calendar view will show you the surplus or deficit for every month as well as the overall surplus or deficit for the year. It’s okay to have deficits along the way, the aim is to have a surplus or at least break even over the twelve-month period.
You can make changes for a specific month, a particular month onwards, or the full year. So if you want to plan to hook up Foxtel in six months, you can plan the month you are starting and have that expense flow through to all the following months. Or you may decide to take a month off yoga, so you can go in and change your expense relating to that month.
The bills calendar is linked to your budget. This means your quarterly and annual bills will show in the month they are due. You can edit your bills calendar at any time and the changes will reflect in your budget.
The budget links to Safe Spending. Your income figures, together with your current account balances work with your budgeted spend for the month and upcoming months to give you an amount that you are safe to spend while still having enough money to meet your upcoming commitments and savings goals. Safe Spending will also hold aside the funds you need to get you through the months where you have a planned deficit. That way you won’t be stuck the months your expenses are greater than your income.
You can set it up and track anywhere and anytime. The budget has been built to work the same way across 3 platforms – iOS, Android and desktop. The experience in each of these will be very similar, enabling you to budget whenever and wherever is convenient to you!
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.