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Learn to budget with tips from our blog

How to Budget for Unexpected Expenses

Posted by Phil McGilvray at 08:40AM No Comments

How to Budget for Unexpected Expenses

I received some very sad news from one of my young coaching clients this week, a close relative had died unexpectedly and as next of kin, she was responsible for funeral arrangements.

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Tags: General Budgeting, Budgeting Tips

Parents, Teaching Children about Money is your Responsibility

Posted by Phil McGilvray at 07:18AM No Comments

The statistics are sad, scary and far too true. One-third of Gen Y have no savings and are struggling with debt. One in five could not find $500 in an emergency, and one in two young people experience financial stress on a weekly basis. It is little wonder that anxiety and depression have become so prevalent amongst our younger generations. This is why it's so important for parents to under how to teach your children about money.

As a budget coach, these statistics are absolutely heart-breaking because this isn’t how it should be. The core principles of wise money management aren’t difficult to understand or to apply but other than a lesson or two in Year 9 maths, no one is purposefully teaching children about money and money management.

Parents, I am sorry - whether you like it or not, it is your responsibility to teach your children how to manage money.  It is your responsibility to teach them:

    • how to budget
    • how to save a percentage of every dollar they earn
    • how to avoid lifestyle debt
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Tags: General Budgeting, Manage Money

How Do I Get My Spouse or Partner On Board with the Household Budget?

Posted by Phil McGilvray at 07:28AM No Comments


A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by a friend who wanted some advice on how he could get his wife interested - and more importantly involved - in the household budget.

While they were doing okay financially, my friend knew they could be doing a whole lot better. Sure - they paid the bills on time and paid off their credit card every month, but despite a healthy income there was never a lot left over.

With the prospect of starting a family on the horizon, my friend was keen to establish a budget and to start managing their money in a purposeful way. But to his great disappointment, his enthusiasm to establish a budget wasn’t exactly shared by his wife.

As a budget coach this wasn’t a surprise to me; not because I know his wife, but because this is a very common issue! It is rare in a relationship that both partners share the same enthusiasm for budgeting. But that doesn’t mean you can make it work.

So here are three strategies I recommend using to help get your spouse or partner on board with the household budget:

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Tags: General Budgeting, Mortgage Advice for Young Couples

Thanks to Debt, You Too can Experience the Lotto Syndrome

Posted by Phil McGilvray at 08:19AM No Comments

Every week, millions of Australians head to their local newsagents to buy their lottery tickets and scratchies with the hope of that life-transforming moment when they win it big. But what few people realise is that winning the Lotto is not all that it’s cracked up to be. In fact, far from being the life-changing moment you may dream it to be. Winning the Lotto harms more lives than it improves. In addition, easy access to debt is giving us the same "syndrome-like" symptoms.

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Tags: Debt

Your Friends Can’t Afford the Daily Coffees in Their Budget Either

Posted by Phil McGilvray at 08:17AM No Comments

We don’t like to talk about money! We put on our best faces and pretend everything is okay! But inside just below the surface we are hurting, our finances are a mess, but how do you say ‘no’ when you have a budget to stick to?

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Tags: General Budgeting, Manage Money

My Personal Finances are a Mess. I Don’t Even Know Where to Start!

Posted by Phil McGilvray at 08:37AM No Comments

Earlier this week I was meeting with one of my coaching clients.  She had done a brilliant job of getting her finances under control and was now wanting to refer a friend, but first wanted to warn me in advance: 

“She has a good job but her personal finances are a mess, she is living pay cheque to pay cheque, her credit card is maxed, she has student loans and outstanding bills and she just doesn’t know where to start!”

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Tags: General Budgeting, Manage Money

One Cost You Must Consider When Buying a House

Posted by Phil McGilvray at 10:38PM No Comments

One of the great joys of being a budget coach is to journey with my clients as they save for and buy their first home. Buying your first home requires a huge commitment, it may well be the biggest purchase of your life so it is important that you take your time, do your homework and understand all the costs that are truly involved.

A quick google search will quickly tell you the costs you must consider when buying a house, you know, the deposit, the real estate agents fees, the legal fees, stamp duty, the banks fees, connection fees, moving cost and so on. But what you will rarely find on this list is the importance of having a decent cash reserve.

As a budget coach I strongly recommend that all of my clients include a cash reserve of$20,000 as one of the costs they need to consider when buying a house. Now I am fully aware that no one wants to hear this sort of advice, $20,000 is a huge amount of extra money to find and yes I know you are busting to get your first home but please here are three reasons you need to take this advice on board:

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Tags: Mortgage Advice for Young Couples

Paying Off Credit Cards: I Can and I Will!

Posted by Phil McGilvray at 08:12AM No Comments


When it comes to paying off credit cards or your lifestyle debt, belief is an important ingredient for success. Without belief, it is very hard to persevere. If you like most people you have struggled with your credit cards for many years it is likely that your confidence and self-belief have taken a hit.

As a budget coach I have found that the most powerful way to build belief is to have a written plan outlining the practical steps you need to take to succeed.


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Tags: Paying Off Debt

End of Month Review To Keeping Your Budget on Track

Posted by Phil McGilvray at 09:28AM No Comments

Back in my Grandma’s time, budgeting seemed so much simpler. You see my Grandma’s used glass Jars. Each glass Jar represented a major bill and each payday Grandma knew exactly how much money she needed to put in each Jar. This ensured that when the bills turned up, the money was there to cover them.

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Tags: General Budgeting, Grandma's Jars App

What Other People Spend: A Look Into Fred & Wilma's Budget

Posted by Phil McGilvray at 12:42PM No Comments

Just about every client will ask me at some point – what do other people spend on (fill in the blank)? We are all curious about what other people spend on things. We like to be able to benchmark ourselves. Over the next few months I thought I would share with you some real life budgets, along with my thoughts as a financial coach.

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Tags: General Budgeting