The best way to make your super go the distance and help you control your finances is to prepare a budget. This can indicate whether you’re currently spending more than you can afford, can help you make the best use of your current income, and maximise the time your retirement funds will last.
If you have a partner, make sure you’re both across the budget as a couple and individually. This will reduce the reliance on just one partner for financial decisions and the handling of household finances.
Preparing a retirement budget
There are a number of ways to set up your retirement budget, and we’ve set up a series of calculators that may help you on your journey:
Start with Rest’s Retirement Budget calculator, which can help you review what you spend now and work out any lifestyle changes that retirement might bring you
Try Rest’s Small Change calculator to see how small changes in your lifestyle can have a huge impact down the line.
Of course, if you’re not into quite into calculators, you can talk to a Rest advisor to help you figure out what you will need and when.
Track your costs
Once you have a budget in place it’s important to monitor your spending. Keep track of your budget and refine it along the way. You may find some costs, like healthcare, can increase over time. Your spending habits may also change.
|Tip: Keep your receipts for a period of time — say one to three months — then assess against your budget. Review any large gaps between your planned and actual expenses, then assess whether you’re comfortable with the difference.|
A realistic budget can help you forecast spending and plan for big expenses. It’s a great tool to help with your longer-term financial planning, so your retirement savings can go the distance.
Tips for preparing your budget
- Start by assessing your priorities in life, such as travelling and hobbies, along with any commitments you have
- Make a list of your basic living expenses
- List the things you could do without, if you needed to save some money
- Then look at what income you have coming in and going out over a whole year. Your bank statements, bills, credit card statements and receipts will help you to work out all your expenses.