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Simply Budget

Set your goals | Itemise your spending | Manage your budget | Plan for your future | Live within your means | You in control

Set your goals

Set you goalsYou need to plan goals into your budget. These can be a future holiday, a new car, extra money for Christmas or even just having three months budget saved up for emergencies.

Goals must be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time set. A goal needs to be something specific – a certain amount – how much do you need to achieve your goal? You need to be able to measure the goal – how far have you got to go? Are you half way yet? Are you on target to achieve it in time? It needs to be achievable – saving $10,000 in three months seems a little high, however saving $1,000 in three months sounds much more achievable. Check your budget worksheet – can the goal be achieved in time?

As before it needs to be realistic – saving $10,000 in three months doesn’t sound realistic unless you have about $3,500 surplus each month. There needs to be a time set on your goal. If you just say you want to save $10,000 then you will not know when you are going to achieve it or how much you need to save each week to achieve your goal.

Remember - think SMART!


You can enter some goals below that can be saved to your profile. You will need to be logged in to save this information.
You should check your goals on a regular basis to see if you are on target to achieve them.
Some examples –
Short term – Three months budget saved (total expenses of budget worksheet) within twelve months
Medium Term – All debts paid off ($10,000) within three years
Long Term – Save $15,000 for safari holiday in Kenya in five years

Itemise your spending

Do you know how much you actually spend each week?

  A coffee and muffin at morning tea
  Sushi or Subway for lunch
  Dinner out
  Drinks after work
  Chocolate bar or drink when you buy your petrol

All these add up quite tremendously. Have a think about how many times you have used your EFTPOS or Debit card over the last week. You may be quite surprised – and shocked!

A lot of people think nothing about swiping the EFTPOS or debit card for this and that, but all these little spends can easily add up to between $50 and $100 each week.  Sometimes it is better to withdraw a certain amount of cash – say $20 per week – for you to spend on coffees and lunches. This helps you keep an eye on how much you are spending through the week.

Manage your budget

Manage your moneyKeep a money diary

Write down everything you spend over a period of a month and have a look at where your money is going.

Write down all your expenses and all your income.

Certain expenses won’t change - like insurance payments or HP and loan payments; but others may fluctuate - like food, petrol, power and telephone bills.

How much have you allowed for these? Are you keeping to this limit?

If not you should review your budget to ensure you can still afford these.

Monitor this by checking these figures on a regular basis on your bank statement.

Plan for your future

Plan for your futureYour budget shows your expenses and income as at today, but what about your future?

Check your goals. (See Set Your Goals). These should be reviewed on a regular basis.

  • Are you going to be able to afford these?
  • Are you on target to acheive these goals?
  • Have you included them in your budget?


Have you thought about retirement?

You need to make plans so that you will have enough money to live on when you retire. Think about the plans you have in place for later in life.

Have you signed up for a Kiwisaver scheme? (New Zealand Only)

This is a savings scheme introduced by the government.

If you are working you have to contribute a minimum of 3% of your gross pay, though you may choose to increase this to 4% or 8%. Your employer has to contribute 3% of your gross wage as well. Also the government will match your contribution (up to $10 per week).

So for example if your 3% contribution is $20, then your employer also has to contribute $20 and the government will give you another $10 – this means that your $20 is already $50! A great way to save for retirement!

  • If you would like further information on Kiwisaver please contact us.
Live within your means

Are you living within your means?   Are your expenses less than your income?

Keep a money diary.

Write down everything you spend over a period of a month and have a look at where your money is going.

Use the budget calculator to see what your budget looks like.

You need to make sure that you are not spending more than you are earning. You should also have some money left over for emergencies.

Do you have a surplus?

Great – you can start a savings plan and start thinking about your future and your goals.

Is your budget in deficit? Is the result a negative number?

In that case you need to make changes, either decrease your spending or increase your income, or both. Submit your budget worksheet to one of our money coaches for extra tips and advice.

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