Click to find out more

Have you got a realistic budget?

Establishing a realistic budgetI needed to be completely honest with myself,  I couldn’t hide debt and expect to have a budget that would work.  So I added everything up and didn’t forget to add in the food, beer, petrol, iTunes downloads, books, movies and gifts for the kids.  They are all legitimate and definite expenses for us dads.

If you don’t put them down you will always be short at the end of each month.

Be sure to include your periodical bills too.  Once you have a total of what you feel is everything? go back over your statements, you can normally see 12 months history online.  Look for car servicing, dental work, holidays and items that are not regular but pop up from month to month.  Add them in too.

Add up everything and divide by 12, this will give you a monthly commitment.  Subtract it from your take home pay and you may find you have a shortfall. Many people spend 110% of their salary.

We need to try and cut it back, so this is where we look at prioritizing.  We will not be able to make a budget work by thinking now you can cut back on the second glass of beer or wine at dinner.  Look at significant changes that will mean something and you will feel the benefit such as: Cancel your foxtel subscription, Suspend your Gym membership (many people do) over the summer months, outside exercise is amazing during summer, make your lunch at home and take to work everyday (I save about $300 a month doing this).  Back off your internet usage and reduce your commitment to the provider.  There are other area’s I am sure you can think off too – No better time than to cancel them today.

I’m sure that if there are CPA’s out their that have been through divorce or separation, they will acknowledge it’s challenging keeping finances in order when going through divorce.  Most men enter into separation unprepared and do not realise that having a good financial budget is one of the keys to maintaining positive parenting.  I have posted more on this topic here.

A good BUDGET CALCULATOR to use is located here and it has an online version or an excel version.  I have used the online version as it is very simple and you can save your budget within the site anonymously and refer back to it from time to time.

If you feel you need urgent help to sort out your bills and prepare a budget, you can call 1800 007 007.  This free hotline is open from 9.30am – 4pm Monday to Friday.  When you call the number you will automatically be transferred to the phone service in your state where a financial counsellor will help you.