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4 top budgeting tips for tradies

Spike

No matter how much you love your role as a tradie, whether you’re a business owner or you’re still working for the man, money is always going to be a focus. How much you’re getting paid, how much a job is going to cost, and what expenses you have are going to be front of mind for you a lot as a tradie, so here are some great tips to help you make sure your money is always working for you.

1. Keep track of where your money is going
When you’re busy and bills and expenses are piling up, it’s difficult to keep track of just how much you’re paying and where your money is going. Often as a tradie, unexpected costs can jump out at you and you need to deal with them ASAP, but it’s important to actually keep a record of how much you’re paying for what and how often.

Budgeting seems straightforward, but once you forget to note a cost down once, you’re likely to forget to do it again and you’ll feel like you’re hemorrhaging money without even knowing where it’s going! Make it a habit to keep a record of your expenses and you’ll feel much more prepared.

2. Look into your variable costs
Some expenses you might find that you just can’t budget for – sometimes it depends what you’ve got going on at the time and some months might have more expenses than others. Make a list of everything that doesn’t have a fixed cost every time, such as petrol or building supplies. See how much you’ve spent on those costs over the past year and average it out, maybe budgeting a little higher just in case.

By mapping it all out, you can also see which months are going to be busier and in which months you might need to spend more (when your rego and WOF are due, etc.) and then you can budget for those too.

3. Do your research
Once you know how much you’re spending, you can look at how you might be able to cut costs and save yourself some money. If you’re only just breaking even, it might be time to review your expenses and research some other options that might be better and cheaper for you.

If you’re budgeting for your personal life, there might be some subscriptions you could cancel, and if you’re budgeting for your business, there might be a supplier who can offer you a better deal on certain materials. Ask around, do your research and you might just be better off.

4. Be realistic
Once you actually crunch the numbers (or have the experts do it for you), it might all look a little scary and like you have nothing left for yourself. This is where you need to create some goals – if you want more money for yourself, you might need to look at creating some goals to help you achieve this.

If you’re spending a lot of money on lunches, maybe your goal will be to bring something from home instead (yeah, it’s probably not going to be as nice, but if it means you have more extra cash, it’s worth it, right?) If you want your business to make more money, then you’ll need to have different goals, but make sure to keep them realistic and break them down into smaller chunks month by month – we’ve gone through this one already, check it out here.