Budgeting – Activities

These activities will allow you to share budgeting ideas and attitudes with your group, to learn and practice effective budgeting that can help you build financial confidence and more control over you financial future.

Chat about your experience of budgeting

What has been your experience with budgeting? Share your experiences with the group.

Have you experienced some of the positive aspects of budgeting:

  • Have you developed new spending habits?
  • Have you been able to save more?
  • Have you clarified your priorities?
  • Has it made it easier to pay bills?
  • Can you share tips on what has worked for you?


  • Has it been hard to stick to a budget – what have been your challenges?
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Create a personal budget

There are many budgeting tools available to help you to create a budget.

Have a practice run  in personal budgeting by creating a budget for these two fictional Olaves. Then have a go at creating your own budget at home.

The budget planner on ASIC’s MoneySmart website is a helpful resource

Olave 1 – Jenny

Use the planning tool to create a budget for Jenny, an Olave who earns after tax income of $57,000 p.a. Jenny lives alone, does not own a car and does not have private health insurance. She is saving to go overseas next year. Jenny’s expenses are:

Rent: $250 per week
Train fares: $35 per week
Taxis: $25 per week
Savings: $150 per week
Food: $130 per week
Mobile phone: $60 per month
Electricity: $200 per quarter
Water: $100 per quarter
Contents insurance: $330 per annum
Entertainment: $80 per week
Clothes/shoes/accessories: $100 per week
Gym membership: $30 per fortnight

Olave 2 – Amy
Is Jenny’s budget in balance? What steps could she take to balance her budget?

Amy is a student and lives at home with her parents.  She has one regular retail job paying $150 per week after tax , and an irregular chlldcare job which pays between $100 to $200 per week. Amy would like to save $1000 to buy a new laptop for her studies. Amy’s expenses are:

Train fares: $25 per week
Taxis: $50 per week
Take away lunches: $55 per week
Coffees: $25 per week
Mobile phone: $50 per month
Entertainment: $80 per week
Clothes/shoes/accessories: $150 per week
Gym membership: $30 per fortnight

Tip!  Expenses should all be measured over the same time period. The Money Smart budget planner will help you to do this.
Is Amy’s budget in balance, taking into account her savings goal? What steps could she take to balance her budget?

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Keep a spending diary

To stick to a budget, it helps to know where your money goes.What do you think of a spending diary? Do you think it would work for you?

Download ASIC’s MoneySmart  TrackMySPEND app and look at it as a group.

Try it out. Even if you only use the app for a month, you will gain some useful knowledge about where your money goes.

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Girls night In

Set yourself a challenge to have a low cost dinner together:

  • First look at the menu for local restaurant or takeaway dinner that you would choose for a dinner together and work out what it would cost you per person.
  • Now set yourselves a challenge for a low cost alternative. Decide on your spending limit. You could add extra challenges e.g. an ingredient that must be included or excluded, a specific cuisine, a new dish you have not cooked. You could create a menu, shop and cook together or have each person bring a dish.. Ask everyone to keep track of what they spend and add up your savings. You could donate the savings to a charity of your choice.
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