Will your tax refund boost your household budget?
..or will it disappear into the “budget black hole” like last year?
If you find that money comes and goes without much of it sticking around, there’s now a simple way to change the budgeting and money-control game.
Your tax refund gives you the perfect opportunity to kick-start a fresh financial outlook. That’s a scenario where all your bills get paid easily and on time, all year round, while every penny is working overtime to increase your net worth – with room for a little fun along the way of course.
Ready for something different? Try it out for free – here’s how:
Download and print our budget sheets and instructions ebook for free. Click here to enter your name and email address and we’ll send them to you pronto.
No matter what budgeting system you’ve tried (and fallen off) before, we guarantee you something different. It’s different because:
- it’s not hard
- it is definitely not time consuming
- it doesn’t require huge amounts of will-power to stay on track
- it is self-motivating: getting ahead financially is a great feeling
- it doesn’t require you to track and follow every cent.
We all know how to budget. Just spend less than you earn, right?
Simple! – but not easy.
The Personal Budget Control Panel™ works
Your personalised Personal Budget Control Panel™ financial control system is a “set and almost forget” method of controlling your cash flows. It’s the sort of thing that smart businesses have known about for a long time.
With the help of MS Excel and some clever short-cuts, we’ve got a spreadsheet budgeting tool which cuts out the fluff (and the stupid chores associated with most other budgeting programs) – and heads right to the heart of what really matters.
The idea is NOT to track and scrutinize every dollar. If you’ve tried budgeting by keeping track of every cent you spend, you’ll already know why that doesn’t work, how mind-numbingly DE-MOTIVATING that is. It’s too labour intensive, too time-consuming, and flat out boring (sorry to all our bookkeeping friends!).
The good news is that tracking every cent of your income is simply not necessary, if your simple aim is to control and manage cash flows.
Counterintuitive? How can you get more by doing less?
We took lessons from the world of big business. If big businesses tried to budget by the old-fashioned “track-every-cent” method that most personal budgeting programs use, they would employ 10 times as many people and probably go broke. Good businesses budget by CONTROL, and by ONLY measuring what is important.
Here’s how business budgeting lessons can be adapted to your personal budget:
1. Big Business smart controls: Identify fixed costs, and pre-approve and automate as far as possible the way those expenses are paid.
Personal budget version: Automatically set aside part of your regular income (preferably in a dedicated bank account) to take care of all your fixed expenses, such as the mortgage, other loans, insurance, licenses etc., and a provision for emergencies. (“Set and almost forget”). These are expenses which HAVE to be paid, so don’t waste time looking at them more than occasionally, unless something serious happens.
2. Big Business smart controls: Set a budget for variable costs, and provide just enough cash to get them paid
Personal budget version: Add up your discretionary expenditures on an annual basis, and set aside a sufficient segment of your regular income to pay for them. So your living expenses, entertainment, ‘fun’ money and annual holidays etc are all accounted for. “Set and almost forget” – again – you don’t waste time looking at these expenses more than occasionally, unless something serious happens, you have already got them covered.
3. Big Business budgeting: Review and update a budget monthly with rolling forecasts to enable corrective actions, and to ensure that budgets remain realistic.
Personal budget version: Review your budget ONLY as often as necessary to ensure it is realistic, and to measure your improvement in net worth. For most people with stable employment, this means running an eye over the budget only once every few months or so, unless something serious comes up.
The results: Complete control over your cash flows, with so little time and effort, that it’s almost fun. Best of all, your steady growth in net worth is easy to see and understand.
Note: The “set-and-almost-forget” Personal Budget Control Panel™ method of financial control is not a suitable budgeting method if you’re on your last legs financially, or if your income is very irregular or unpredictable.
How to get started now – it’s quick and easy
Request our free budget template worksheets and system work book and and follow the calculation prompts to strike a balance – this is your allowance to live on. If you stay within the allowance, and your expenses are within the guidelines we recommend, you simply cannot fail to get ahead.
In a nutshell: simply categorise your annual expenses and income – a close approximate in most cases is near enough – then divide by your pay period (e.g. 52, or 12 or 26). Unless something serious changes, your “budgeting” is almost done – in just a few minutes.
Next: As an extra step to help you stay within your allowance, we recommend you physically separate the amount of your allowance, preferably into a separate bank account to remove temptation and opportunities to spend more. This is explained more in the accompanying ebook.
Next: Recognise one VERY IMPORTANT PROVISO: You simply MUST NOT use your credit card for non budgeted expenses. Cut up your card if you have to! This is a must – your credit cards are the single biggest threat to the success of your personal budget.
Based on experience, you can be up and running immediately – just 30 to 40 minutes to cruise through the setup, and maintenance every 2 to 3 months or so of around 15 minutes – (unless something serious comes up, requiring a full re-vamp).
This page was last modified on 27 Sept 2017