Don’t decide to deep-dive into your finances on a whim. Trying to squeeze in time at the end of a busy day or when the kids are running around will only make it a stressful experience. Set aside some specific time when you know you won’t have any distractions and will be able to focus. It’s not something you need to do every week, but it’s worth popping on your to-do list every few months.
To get a true picture of your money situation, you’ll need to pull together some paperwork or electronic records. You’ll want a record of your recent spending, household bills, receipts and invoices. Your transaction history on internet banking is a good place to start. Our bills calculator can also help jog your memory about less regular household expenses, like insurance or rates.
When you’re going through your spending, try to identify spending habits and categorise things into essentials and non-essentials. Then, break those down again into sub-categories, like household bills, entertainment, clothes, takeaways etc. You might be surprised at how much you’re spending on a particular category (local dairy, I’m looking at you).