Not Another Budgeting Blog…

As a mortgage broker for 14 years, I have witnessed firsthand how thousands of people manage their money. I have seen everything from the spreadsheet warriors who count every dollar and watch each purchase, to the people who will buy now on impulse and worry about the repayments later.

In younger years, when it came to the word budget, I thought that some things were better left unknown and that it’d all work out in the end.

Some life and business experience, and a few years later, my attitude has drastically changed. I knew when building our new website, it needed two things:

  1. A tool that enabled our clients to understand their financial world.
  2. It could not, and would not, be called a Budget Calculator.

So, we have developed the Money Tracker, which gives you the ability to track your income and expenses in a clear and simple way.

Rather than just sharing the link and wishing you luck, I want to share some insights into the process of tracking your money and why it’s so important for your financial success.

  • Before you begin any tracking of your money, be super clear on the financial goal you want to achieve over the next 12 months. Whether it’s to reduce the credit card debt, saving for a house or pay down your mortgage, understanding your “why” will make the pain of the exercise worthwhile.
  • The next step is to print out your last 12 months of bank statements, or to export them to Excel for those who prefer. You also need to track the last 12 months of your credit card statements, especially that sneaky one you had forgotten about years ago but are still paying interest to the bank for.
  • I have found the easiest place to start is itemising the regular expenses: utilities, insurances and mortgages; basically anything with a direct debit. Then keep reviewing your statements for any outlier payments such as holidays or home repairs.
  • Avoid analysis paralysis. You can’t change the past so don’t stress about that Zimmerman dress you have already purchased.

When I reflect on my clients who have been most successful in achieving their financial goals, they have been disciplined with their spending but they have still allowed themselves to have fun and enjoy life. You can still eat at those nice restaurants, but maybe not every week.

Tracking your progress is important for any goal. Start attacking the credit card with the highest interest charges and get that one paid down. Or set yourself the target to have your mortgage reduced to $xx within 3 months.

It will only take one hour of your time to complete the Money Tracker, but the feeling of financial clarity at the end will be worth every minute.

Invictus Finance

Blog post by Invictus Finance


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