Case study budgeting

Katie's budget reality check

Katie's budgetHi, my name's Katie and I am a 19-year old uni student. MoneySmart's budget planner really opened my eyes to what I'm spending and helped me get a saving plan together.

I've already saved $10,000 over the last few years from my part-time job but I want to save more so I can have money to put towards a deposit on a flat in about 5 years time.

When I put my income and expenses into the budget planner I found it pretty eye opening. Since I live at home with my mum, my living costs are small but it shocked me that the planner showed that nearly 75% of my wage goes on shopping.

I was also surprised that my weekly dinner with my girlfriends at a Mexican restaurant and lunch and snacks during the week, totals nearly $5000 a year.

I chatted with my friends who are also uni students on similar wages and they were just as shocked as I was. We didn't realise that these costs would add up to so much.

Here are some ways I plan to change my spending habits so I can save more:

  • Pack snacks and drinks from home and don't buy lunch out
  • Plan ahead and save for major expenses like car insurance before the bill arrives
  • Limit myself to a monthly clothes budget
  • Use the Track My Spend app to make sure I stick to my budget
  • Put together a savings plan with the savings goals calculator

If you cut down on a few things each week it can really make a big difference to your savings.

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Last updated: 17 Mar 2014