One of the key foundations of any financial plan and financial wellbeing is knowing how much we spend. This certainly feels more important than ever with the rising cost of living and Ovation is here to help you master your budget.
There are two key elements to this:
- Basic Expenditure This for example includes utilities bills, mortgage, rent, food and pets. Things we absolutely need to pay for to provide a basic level of lifestyle.
- Discretionary Expenditure This is effectively everything else and where we can really boost our wellbeing and happiness. Often this is described as your disposable income and is the amount between the income you receive and your basics.
In future blogs we will be focussing on this discretionary area in detail and how we can spend our money to bring more joy to our lives, which is backed by academic research.
But first we need to know how best to get our expenditure information to master our budgets. Many of you reading this will have gone through this exercise before, but it’s useful to remind ourselves how we could go about doing this and how Ovation can help. The more accurate this is, the more useful it is. So be honest, there’s no judgement on our side.
Finding expenditure information;
- You already do this and have the detail to hand. Perhaps your own spreadsheet. That’s perfect, just send this to us via the MyOvation portal and we can start reviewing this with you.
- We can send you Ovation’s expenditure document. This enables you to go through various types of expenses and update this as you go. Usually by looking at your bank statements and direct debits.
- Use the budgeting tool on the MyOvation portal. You can link your bank account and it will download the transactions. It will start to split things out for you automatically, however it may need some manual reconciling to make sure it’s in the right place.
- You could simply send us your bank statements and we start to review your expenditure for you.
(have a listen to Episode 75 of The Financial Wellbeing Podcast to see how budgeting and control of your daily finances fits into overall Financial Wellbeing)
Master your budget
Armed with this information we can master your budget and ensure that any financial plan is built on solid and realistic foundations. It may even highlight potential savings in your basic expenditures.
Then the fun really starts, how can you spend your money to really boost your joy and happiness? A question that we will look at in a future blog, but one you can talk about with your financial planner now or at your next meeting.