Until I recently retired I had never worked to a strict budget and although I was well paid I was often caught short of money. Now receiving a fixed income from my Superannuation fund I have my finances under control and actually have more disposable income despite my income now being around 50% of what it previously was.
I did this by paying out the balance of my house loan with a lump sum from my Super payout and I set up a couple of new bank accounts and linked direct debit payments for all my regular payments such as insurance, council rates, health insurance, phone, and SAVINGS! For payments that couldn't be set up this way I have a separate account and a set amount goes directly into the account to cover the payments.
My fortnightly Superannuation payment goes directly into one account and then gets directly debited into the other accounts. The money that is left in the main account is what I have budgeted for food and petrol for my car and a small amount of spending money. This system works well for me, every $ is accounted for, the majority of my regular accounts are automatically paid and there is money in the other account for the few I have to pay myself.
For the first time in my life I am totally debt free, my accounts are all up to date, and I don't have to worry about not having money to pay them. My savings are regularly increasing because I'm not robbing them to pay bills. I am fortunate that my Super fund is a defined benefit which means I receive the same amount plus CPI increases for the rest of my life so I'm not at the mercy of how my Super fund performs in the stock market.
Retirement was something I was financially dreading but with this system in place I have absolutely no money worries, every payment is covered, even unexpected things like emergency repairs. I have money there if I want to treat myself or others and I am still accumulating savings. I don't go without anything. I didn't think it was possible but it does work. I just started by writing down every single thing I spent money on and my regular accounts and went from there. Retirement is great and even better with no financial worries!
By Beadiebug from Qld, Australia
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