It's 'Make a money plan Monday'
How do you manage savings?Share your stories, photos and videos.
Do you have a money plan?
I'm sure I was born to be rich. So far though, it has not worked out.
I think I slipped up somewhat when I decided to become a journalist, it was possibly also a mistake to start dating one.
Unfortunately, (or fortunately?) those are two things I'm simply not prepared to give up for the pursuit of money. There are many things I can and am changing, however, to improve my lot.
Today marks the start of Money Week - the perfect time to assess one's funds. (I mean really assess one's funds, not just stare in horror at a bank balance on a Sunday morning).
Over the next five days we will be bringing you a series of article to help you fix your finances. We will also have daily lunchtime Live Chats on various money topics.
I have been trying to get to grips with this for some time now, not least because there is one loveable bassett hound that is now residing on the family farm rather than in Wellington - where landlords seem to look upon dogs as something that should perhaps fall under Doc's eradication programme.
Needless to say, buying a house is a main goal, and so is travel.
And if pulling together a deposit wasn't hard enough to begin with, recent changes to lending rules mean a house for us, is likely to be more than a few years away.
But you have to start somewhere, and I started by putting together a plan.
The theory is simple: Make a plan for what you earn and spend - and aim to earn more than you spend.
Use the money left over for paying off debt or saving for your goals. Write your plan down, and as the mouse on the advertisements tells you, place it somewhere you can see and access it easily.
Rather than lugging a fridge around the supermarket, I pay homage to the almighty Google.doc.
I even Googled how to make my budget spreadsheet do automatic equations if figures should ever be changed, and then I Googled the Google Drive app so I could access it everywhere from my phone.
It's great because I was able to build the plan and then share it (read: force it upon one other) while decreeing it as our household budget.
Do we stick to it? Mostly.
Fed Family Budgeting Services chief executive Raewyn Fox said most people trip up by not being realistic with their plans.
"Budgeting is not about doing without. It's about making your money do what you want it to do.
"If you're not giving yourself those little rewards every now and then, if you're always depriving yourself of things then you won't stick to it."
It's hard going without things you enjoy. This is not the first time I've tried to make a budget, (in fact it's not even the 12th!). But this time it's working because instead of cutting things completely, like my morning coffee, I'm allowed a morning coffee twice a week.
"But where we find a lot of people really slip up is with the essentials," Fox said.
"Take some time to do the research. Many might budget they spend $150 at the supermarket a week, but they forget to add in that they buy bread and milk at the dairy a couple of times a week.
"And when a disaster strikes or an essential big ticket item like a fridge breaks down that extra $10 people were able to put away each week might make a world of difference."
MONEY PLAN TIPS
1. Write a list of all your incomings.
2. Subtract from it all your outgoings.
3. Try and be realistic about your non-essential expenses.
4. A helpful budget template I found was this one which I was able to alter to suit me.
5. Set savings goals, or tangible rewards you want to save to.
6. Make sure everyone in your household is on board with the money plan.
7. Click "unsubscribe" on all those daily deal emails you get everyday.
- © Fairfax NZ News