Better budgeting in a virtual reality moment

Being at home changes a lot the way you spend, right?

I don’t know about you guys, but when I’m normally at the CBD, I’ll go out for a $ 4 coffee in the morning and maybe another at lunchtime. Lunch can also be added, especially in Sydney. How about the snack after lunch? We don’t go into that.

Then, of course, being distracted among all those shops in the city can be a problem. Sometimes I take a walk down Pitt Street Mall and get a new T-shirt, or maybe I go back to Haigh’s and have some chocolates for the family. Wait, there’s a sale to Mick Simmons. I’m sure you have similar vices.

The thing is, it can be hard to keep track of spending when you’re busy and jumping from place to place. So maybe these weird times have at least one advantage, that you can think a little more about your expenses and savings. Even if you’re largely stationary, you can consider how your money moves, so to speak.

Write down your budget.

We’ve written a lot about budgeting in Mozo and we even have some useful lists of budget apps that you can try. If you’re the kind of person diligent with your finances, I think an app makes perfect sense. For me, though, I have to force a little saving discipline, and that means going back to the old pen and paper.

I’ve also read several articles that say that writing things can help you feel connected to the budgeting process. I’m going to buy it: let the physical act of grabbing a pen slow down your financial thinking.

Now, a proper budget for your home is an important task, so if you’re willing to do it during those days at home, it can be a well-spent time. Jessica Irvine’s budget breakdown in The Herald recently was really insightful. But this is a full scale exercise that I can’t see myself doing.

However, I’m interested to know where I can make small improvements because, like the impulsive purchases that are made at the CBD, I’m starting to see similar habits form in online shopping. Maybe you can relate. The online mall is incredibly large.

So writing down what you went through last week or last fortnight might just be the ticket to help you strike a balance. Some experts say that when you are more aware of your expenses, you really release some money from your budget. Great! And in a sense, budgeting is not the goal, but the awareness of your money.

Setting goals sets you up

The other part of writing expenses and being aware is to have some idea of ​​the goals you want to achieve. At Mozo, we’ve also written a lot about setting financial goals. Check out these tips. But remember knowing that Because if you have goals, it can also be helpful.

For example, in the past you might have a goal to save for a vacation, and of course that goal seems harder to achieve right now. But that doesn’t mean we have to rule out these kinds of exciting waking dreams. A goal can be motivating, not just practical. The purpose of the goal can be significant.

Therefore, once you have reserved money to pay for the purchase, pay for subsequent purchases, rent, or to cover the car service, saving money for the future can be a worthwhile task.

In my view, we will always make those additional discretionary purchases, whether in person or online. And it’s okay. But, being at home, we could keep track of it better and therefore be able to save better for something enjoyable. That’s the biggest goal, so to speak.

As an example, I’ve written down some discretionary purchases this week: a $ 4 coffee every day (x5); a $ 60 hoodie from an online store; a movie at Apple for $ 7.99; and a book on Kindle for $ 14.99. That’s $ 103. Not bad at all, though I’m sure I can cut back a bit here. Being aware of it is a big help and means you could even try to park $ 50 a week to go on that sunny vacation … somewhere on the horizon.

For more tips and calculators to help you with your budget, check out our family finance center. We also have many savings tips and allow you to compare the best savings products in our Savings Accounts Center.

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