HOW DO I MAKE A “BUDGET” WORK?
Guess the number of Aussies living payday to payday?
According to this recent study, it is 1 in 2 Australians! If you feel like this is you (and this is not just reserved for low-income families), here are three steps to turn things around fast!
“What gets measured gets managed” – Peter Drucker
If you don’t already have a method for tracking your outgoing, here are a few ideas.
- Go old school: Grab a piece of paper and write down everything that you spend money on in the day. Bring it home, total this up and whack it on the fridge.
- The mid-tech option: Using the note app on your iPhone, do the same thing.
- Full tech (my preferred option): Grab yourself some software that will do this for you, but this does require effort in the setup. If you are not prepared to invest the time in getting this setup, stick to one of the first two options (check out Pocketbook or MoneySoft)
2. REVIEW ALL SERVICE PROVIDERS
“Get comfortable being uncomfortable” Navy SEALS
This is an area that I’m massively passionate about because I’ve had some excellent wins myself. Don’t be too proud when it comes to this. This is as good as free money!
- Make a list of all of the bills you pay: Write them all down, phone bill, Internet provider, Foxtel, Netflix, Stan, iTunes, your rates, car insurance, contents etc all those things that are there. Make a big long list of them.
- Block out half a day in your calendar: This is crucial. Make sure you invest this time in yourself. Research is critical when it comes to negotiating with your providers. You need to know what your current arrangement is, what the competitors are offering and be prepared to walk.
I had a massive win with Telstra and from one call had my mobile bill reduced from $130 pm to $40 pm. Even better, I created a step-by-step guide (download it here) including a photograph showing the confirmation email of how I managed to do this and how you can do this today.
3. NEGOTIATE SALARY (WHERE JUSTIFIED)
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” – Wayne Gretzky
Without sounding too Joe Hockey esk, I am a massive believer in a well-constructed pay discussion.
- Do your research: What are other people with similar experience earning (check Payscale website)? What are same available roles paying (check seek etc.)? Speak to other people in the industry and get a feel for the market (are the heaps of jobs available? Is the market tight?)
- Build your case: Now focus on what you have done. Check your original contract and make sure you have nailed everything in your description. List the things you have delivered above and beyond. Think of the financial benefit of these and conversely the cost of replacing you.
- Speak to your boss/manager and book a time to discuss: Worst case scenario, they say NO! Then you are in the same position. If they do say no, and this is CRITICAL, respond with “no problem, when can we review this again?”
Common sense applies here people, if you have taken 25 sick days in a year, acted like a muppet at the Christmas party and missed every target for the year this is not an option for you.
Also, remember you never make yourself look better by making other people look bad. Don’t be tempted to play the “well Simon earns $12,000 more than me and I do heaps more than him” that will not work and will make you look like a goose!
Turning a budget around is like any significant change, it requires a plan and commitment. We have had some fantastic success stories in very short periods of time, but they have all taken hard work.
What’s worked for you? Let me know in the comments below