Most people think of budgeting as being a painstaking process of not being able to spent money on things that make them happy. In our view, budgeting is all about knowing what you spend on essential living costs, such as food, clothing, utilities, and motor vehicle, and discretionary living needs, such as holidays, cars, and boats.
Once we know the amount spent on essential living needs and discretionary living needs, we are able to plan how each are met. Most people meet their essential living needs from the income stream they receive. If you are working this income stream will most likely come from your wages, and if you are retired your essential living needs are usually met from superannuation draw downs and net rental income.
In our Financial Game Plan Illustration, we identified that Martin and Tova have essential living needs of $240,000 per annum. They required $60,000 for an annual overseas ski holiday that was a non-negotiable, and had mortgage repayments of $205,123 per annum.
With wages, dividends, and net rent totalled $634,894 each year, and we calculated that they should have an annual cash flow surplus of at least $130,000. But Martin and Tova’s bank balance had always been between $30,000 and $50,000 over the last three years, so they were in fact spending an additional $130,000 per annum above the $240,00 that they felt they were spending on their essential living needs.
Martin and Tova we shocked when I took them through their cash flow and revealed their additional spending on discretionary items. They said they “hadn’t really thought about it too much”, but agreed that they needed to make some simple adjustments to ensure that they achieved their life aspiration of retiring in the next ten years.
Tova set herself a set monthly amount to spend on shopping, with the flexibility to spend it all on one day, or spread it out over the month or several months. For Martin it meant making adjustments such as not ordering the most expensive wine on a restaurant menu, but ordering an excellent wine that is reasonably priced.
By changing their spending habits Martin and Tova were able to reduce their $130,000 excess spending to ensure that any discretionary spending would come from the $20,000 per month they were budgeting for living needs.
When following your Financial Game Plan, we support you with budgeting advice on where to save money to invest in your future. Some small and manageable changes can really amplify your ability to achieve your life aspirations.
Talk to us about how you can get your money working smarter, so you can live the life you want and provide the future for your family that they deserve.
We have been using Peter’s expertise in all things financial since 1990 and have always been impressed by his diligence, honesty and integrity. Our financial goals are on track under his care and we are always confident that he has our best interests at heart when making recommendations and investment decisions. We can highly recommend Peter and his dedicated team’
We have been clients of Peter for many years now. He has always given sound information in his newsletter on the performance of our investments and made appropriate suggestions as to and when they should be changed to ensure that they are performing to our needs.
I am a retired company accountant and have been comfortably living off reasonable interest and dividends until recently. A friend recommended Peter so we sought his advice to deal with the current and probably long term dilemma of low interest rates. Peter has provided my family with invaluable advice for the management of my investments both inside and outside Super.