Money basics

The information in this guide was last updated on 26/02/2014

Thinking carefully about how you use your money can have great benefits, both now and in the future. With a monthly budget under your belt, your day-to-day spending decisions will be easier to make and it's likely you will worry less about your bank balance when you go shopping.

Longer-term benefits

Even if you don’t have long-term financial commitments like a mortgage or loans, a long-term plan can give you peace of mind and flexibility. What would happen if you were unable to work, had a family emergency or needed to pay for major repairs to your car or home? With some money put aside, you can fall back on savings to help cover unexpected costs.

Styles of spending

Knowing your personal style can help you make better decisions about managing your money. For example, if you like to be free to make impulse buys, you could allocate yourself a ‘pocket money’ budget each month to spend on whatever you like. And if you prefer to plan things out, you can build in some time for comparison shopping each week to dig out the best deals.

Managing what you spend

Budgeting for your everyday spending can help you figure out how much you need to live on, and how much you can afford to put away. Not only does it give you a clearer picture and help you feel more in control, a budget can also help you avoid going into debt or spending beyond your means. Find out about making a budget.

Savings and investments

There are a few ways to put money aside, including savings accounts, pensions and investments. What’s right for you will depend on how much you want to put away, how long you want to save for, and what your attitude to risk is.