Budget Planning Tips & Ideas to make your life easier

Budget Planning Tips & Ideas to make your life easier

We can help you solve your personal budget woes with our top 5 budget planning tips & Ideas. Planning your finances is not something we every want to sit down and do, but it is really important for organising your future.

The hardest thing to do is start, by reading this you’ve made the 1st step. Keep going, you can do it.

Budget Tip One: Mark your goals.

Before you sit down to work out your personal budget it is important to list the reasons or goals why you’re doing this. Every time you sit to work on your budget, look at these reasons. This will help you focus on the positive impact budget planning will have on your life.

Some Common Reasons to budget:

  • Give in your notice to get out of the job you hate.
  • Buy that new car you always wanted.
  • Start the business you always dreamed of setting up.
  • Buy your first home of trade up to the one you really want.
  • Leave the city and live in the country.
  • Take that holiday to you always dreamed of doing.
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Budget Tip Two: Keep it open and blame-free.

If you have a partner or spouse it’s important to do this together. You need to work as a team. If you’re single ask a friend or family member about how they manage money. 

If talking about money scares you or you don’t want to talk to your friends or family call Debbie in our office. She can help you with some hints and ideas about how to start thinking and talking about money openly and without laying blame on others or yourself. 

Budget Tip Three: Know your income.

The nitty-gritty of budgeting. Looking at your numbers. The income part of budgeting is normally the easy bit. We all only have a couple of sources of income.

What you spend is normally the problem. Start off breaking your income in 3 piles. 50% of your income should be spent on the basic requirements of living. 30% on having a good time, entertainment, dinners, drinks, having fun. The remaining 20% of your income should be planned for savings. 

This breakdown of income is called the 50/30/20 rule. You can read more about it here: https://greenwayfinancialadvisors.ie/50-30-20-budget-plan/. This breakdown gives you a general guideline of where your income should be going.

Know your spending.

Now it’s time for the hard bit. Looking at your spending. Start off breaking down your spending into 2 groups. 

Group 1: Monthly Spending

  • Rent/Mortgage.
  • Electricity & Heating.
  • Broadband / TV Packages
  • Transport.
  • Insurance payments (If paid monthly).
  • Groceries – food budget.
  • Mobile Phone Costs.
  • Bin Charges.
  • Loan & Debt Repayments.
  • Subscriptions: Netflix, Spotify etc.
  • Monthly social spending – dinners, drinks, going out etc.   

Group 2: Annual Spending

  • Insurance annual payments.
  • Property Tax.
  • Motor Tax.
  • Christmas Costs.
  • Holidays.
  • Birthdays.
  • Weekends away.
  • Dentists / Medical Checkups


There’s a couple of reasons why too break these spending blocks down:

1. We want to take the spending in Group 2, total that amount and divide across 12 months. We want to spread those annual costs across the year to keep them from being a major problem in the month they have to be paid.

2. The other reason is to see if there are any savings we could make to yearly and monthly costs. Do you really need that TV package? Could you reduce some of your socialising money or spend it wiser? How much are you spending on trips away each year?


Use apps like fudget (this is the app we use – we don’t receive any commission or % for this link.) , a spreadsheet or a notepad & pen to keep a track of your expenses. Another handy way of keeping a track of spending is using your debit card tap or chip and pin for all purchases. At the end of the month get your bank statement and see where the spends were.

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Budget Tip four: Contracts – change them!

When looking at any service provider you currently have, check the time remaining on the contract. You might be able to save some money switching. Recently we changed phone providers and saved 60% by shopping around.

If you still have time left on a contract add a reminder to your phone calendar to price check it when the contract term has ended.

Budget Tip Five: Don’t lose heart!

Changing spending habits is a very difficult job to do. It is not something completed overnight. Use your budget each month to see how your spending was versus what you thought it would be.

Measure your spending and saving over a 3 month period and chart your progress. If you get stuck or need help call us and we can help you through. Check out some of our financial planning advice plans below. They start from free and get you your own personal financial advisor.

Debbie Cheevers

Debbie Cheevers

Qualified Financial Advisor

Debbie was born in Dublin and graduated from NCAD with a degree in Visual Communication. She brings a strong customer services background to Greenway.

Debbie qualified as APA in 2017 and a fully qualified financial advisor (QFA) in 2018.

She believes that product knowledge is key to helping customers make the right choices.

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