31st Jan 2012

Betty’s no-nonsense budgeting tip

budgeting, bills, fixed income, periods of abundance

When you have lived through periods of abundance, as well as times when money was tight, successful budgeting is something at which you quickly become good. We’ve gone to the best there is and asked Kaye’s mum Betty how she keeps up-to-date with her bills whilst managing on a fixed income.

Betty’s budgeting tip

I have always managed to live within our fixed income by the following method. Using the previous year’s bills as a guideline, (plus 10 per cent for inflation) I make a list as follows:







June etc








Gas etc







When all expenses have been listed I add up each month, then total all months together.

This last total I divide by the 52 weeks in a year, thus giving me a weekly sum, which I need to retain in our account for payments when they are due. Anything over this amount, up to the total of my fixed income, is used for food, clothing etc.

I have carried out this procedure for over 65 years and it has always worked for me. Perhaps someone else would like to try this method and see if it works for them.

Do you have a similar budgeting system to Betty? Or do you use a different method?


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28th Feb 2012
I use a similar method but I do mine for the whole year, on January 1. Based on the previous twelve months, I usually add about ten per cent onto the year's expected outgoings, add it all up and divide by thirteen. Doing it this way I usually have something left over at Christmas time.
28th Feb 2012
Before I married I used this exact system using a looseleaf notebook with dividers. I had the budget on master pages at the front then I had a section for each of the bills listed in the budget. When each bill was paid I adjusted not only the master page but also the bill page itself. That way I also had a record of how much I had spent on any one item over time. This was based on what my Mum had done - so thank you to all the Mums that have taught their children how to budget - we just need to ensure we pass this wisdom on to our children - that is a harder exercise!!
28th Feb 2012
I do much the same, except I pay each fortnight into the different facilities. I also include rates, so basically, what's left over is mine.
If you have the money in another account then there is the temptation to 'dip' into it, if you pay directly to your Electricity, Rates, and if you have gas then the same can be done. Best if one has on-line banking so one can adjust moneys to the authorities as needed.
normie 39
28th Feb 2012
I have been doing that same thing for four years. Just add up all the utilities and then house and car insurance,green slip and nrma. Total them and add 10% then put this amount fortnightly into a separate account ( or cash ). I don't have a credit card as cash is best and there are no additional monthly charges.
As I use a credit union, I have always maintained a minimum $1000 balance as this gives me six free eftos for fortnightly major shopping and petrol topups.

I like the answer from Misty....divide the annual amount by thirteen as this generates extra money for the annual Christmas present run for children and grandchildren.

Princess Mary
28th Feb 2012
thanks for these hints - I particularly liked dividing by 13 to give a little extra around Christmas time - thanks
5th Mar 2012
Princess Mary, I agree it was good advice. A lot of bills are based on 4 weekly or 90 Day (for electricity and gas) and there is 52 weeks in a year.
I also try to limit my number of eftpos transactions so that I don't incur fees. I pay a lot of my "regular" bills by direct debit from a different bank account therefore I don't incur fees on the extra transactions except in a genuine emergency(well, so far, so lucky!!!) I also try to buy a little extra groceries when they are on special on items that I use a lot of. It really peeves me when they are reduced one time, then even more the next fortnight when I go shopping. I know the prices of items that I use and have to buy on a regular basis.

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