The Hacks That Simplify Your Budget
Budgeting is often associated with spreadsheets and strict dollar amounts that allow no room for brunches with your mates, but these hacks – which take a minimal amount of time and effort – will make the process effortless.
Ready? Let’s go.
Making decisions is exhausting. For real – psychological research shows people make worse decisions when their willpower has been tested. It’s a phenomenon known as decision fatigue, and it could be undermining your savings goals.
The fix? Automation. Decide how much money you’re going to save, and set up a direct deposit on the day you get paid. That way, you don’t have to make any decisions or make any mental calculations. You’ll save without even thinking about it.
Use the 60-20-20 rule
This one might involve a little bit of maths, but stick with us: it’ll be a moment of effort with years of pay off.
If you’ve got no idea how much you should be saving or spending, this one helps by giving you a solid framework. 60 percent of your pay should go towards daily expenses – like rent, bills and groceries. 20 percent goes to savings. And 20 percent is for fun stuff – like nights out and new outfits and spontaneous road trips with your mates.
The genius of this budget hack is that you have a still have money to play with, so it doesn’t feel onerous.
Level up this hack by incorporating the one above: set up direct deposits so you keep our fun money separate from your savings and your everyday spending.
This might not seem like a “hack” but its effectiveness has been proven: UK government research found people with a specific savings goal save faster and more effectively, putting aside an average of $1000 more over a year.
It doesn’t matter what the goal is – just that you have one. Or several! Perhaps you’ve got a long-term goal of saving for a house deposit, and a short-term goal of going to Bali next August. It doesn’t need to be an either/or thing.
Have an emergency fund
Perhaps the most boring of the hacks, but super important. Having a safety net of a few months’ living expenses will ensure you are taken care of should the worst happen – like your car breaking down, or losing your job.
Keeping this money separate from your day-to-day transaction account and savings accounts means an emergency won’t derail your budget. Don’t skip this one!
Get a bank account that makes it easy
Gee, if only there was a bank account that could help you automate your budget and work towards your savings goals… wait a second, there is!
The Westpac Life savings account allows you to do just that – you can set up to 6 goals and track your progress towards them via the Westpac App. You can save for several goals without the hassle of having more than one account – and you’ll earn a competitive 2.30% p.a. variable interest rate which includes bonus interest every month your balance grows.
Westpac Life is a flexible savings account that could help you stay on track to meet your savings goals. Open now in less than three minutes.
To open a Westpac Life account, you must be registered for Online Banking and hold a Westpac everyday account in the same name. Fees and charges may apply on the everyday account. Any recommendation made in this communication does not take your objectives, financial situation or needs into account. Read the terms and conditions at westpac.com.au before making a decision and consider whether the products are appropriate for you. © Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714.