Avoiding debt with basic budgeting

Personal Finance 28 Feb, 2018

We all have our own way of managing and paying our bills. They’re never fun to pay but keeping on top of them means that you won’t end up owing more than the initial bill. With one in three kiwis not paying off their credit card debt, it’s concerning to see how many adults don’t manage to keep on top of a sensible budget.

Make a free Genoapay account to pay for unexpected bills

Creating a budget

There are no two ways to put it, budget is an ugly word. Daunting as it may be, creating one is super important. It’s the only way you’ll get a snapshot of what a sensible weeks spend might look like for you.

To create a budget, simply add how much income you have coming into your bank account and how much is going out every month, then work out the difference. Your bills may be weekly, fortnightly, monthly or annually, so the next step is to map out how often the bills come out. Where you can, pinpoint them to the exact day on a calendar.

One way of preventing bills from sneaking up on you (especially the monthly or annual bills) is to set them up as a repeating event on your phone’s calendar.

In regards to what else goes out, it is important to be realistic about what you need. Something as simple as paying for five gigabytes of cellphone data when you only need one can set you back at least ten dollars a month. Over a whole year, that’s $120, which is enough to cover smaller emergency appointments.

Interrogate your expenses and think about what you really need on a day-to-day basis.

Seriously, start an emergency fund

You never know when an unexpected cost may spring up or when your household income may take a dive, yet one in five Kiwis have absolutely no money set aside for unforeseen emergencies. Without an emergency fund, you are much more likely to end with short-term and high-interest debt when things go wrong.

Start setting aside a small amount every week. $20 a week will be enough to cover a substantial emergency in the long haul and will grow to over $1000 in just one year. That’s enough to cover a nasty repair bill or a root canal.

Pay off your high-interest debt first, or avoid it completely

If you have loans or stacked up credit cards, do your best to meet your monthly required payments. You can take the pressure off your credit cards by choosing to pay for some bills with 100% interest-free options, like Genoapay. The faster you pay your credit card debt off, the less interest you’ll pay. If you’re quick enough with your payments, you may manage to avoid it completely.

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Missed credit card payments will only rack up more interest and they can really damage your credit score, which you should avoid at all costs. To learn more about your credit score, check out our credit score guide.

Keep time on your side

With Genoapay, you have more control over your bills. We can split your purchases into 10 easy weekly instalments with no hidden fees and no interest. We have mechanics, vets, dentists, and hair and beauty professionals all over the country offering Genoapay.

If you’re super on-to-it, our platform gives you the ability to make ‘one-off payments’, so you can finish your payment plans earlier.

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Once you pay off the purchase, your available Genoapay credit will reset to your original approved amount and you can continue using the platform with our wide range of stores and businesses.

Sign up for a free account now