It’s tempting just to look at your spending and what’s coming in and out of your accounts and think that you’re getting a good look at your finances. But the complete picture is about more than money. Here are some things you’re probably forgetting to include in your budget, even though they have a real impact on your, um, bottom line.

1. Superannuation

Your super shouldn’t be something secret- get used to putting your stashed funds front and centre. It’s going to be incredibly important to you as you get closer to retirement. Rather than just taking a quick look at tax time, you should be looking at your superannuation balance when you check in with your other accounts. Moneytree makes it simple to connect your superfund and see your progress. Oh and if you’re not already making voluntary contributions as part of your budget on the regular, it’s a great time to talk to your accountant to understand whether this could have any tax benefits for you.

2. Loyalty Cards

Used properly, loyalty cards and reward points can give your budget a boost. This is one area where you should sweat the small stuff. Pick up a coffee card and get your 10th cup free. Find a favourite lunch spot that wants to love you back with a loyalty system. Pick up a card when you get a haircut or manicure, and then stash it somewhere prominent within your wallet. Or, save time when you’re at the checkout, and consider creating a card holder just for your loyalty cards.

When you’re getting granular on your weekly budgets make sure you add in these little extras so you’re not buying more than you need or forgetting to redeem extra treats!

3. Points programmes

Collecting points and rewards from the places you shop can be useful in all sorts of ways. You might be able to redeem your points for Christmas or birthday presents for friends or family, or for items which are headed straight to eBay. Or you could discover the joys of a free flight- yes, that complimentary glass of wine will taste even better!

When you have an online program, like Velocity Frequent Flyer, flybuys or MyerOne, connect these accounts to Moneytree and you’ll get reminders so you can remember to redeem your points before they expire.

4. Travel cards

If you use Opal or Myki to get from A to B, it’s easy to overlook the money you have loaded onto these cards when you’re looking at your finances. And when you’re checking it out, it’s a good time to see if you could be getting a better deal. Just loading money onto your card is okay if you’re an infrequent commuter. But if you’re travelling daily, look for a better deal. A weekly or monthly pass should save you cash, or consider a yearly option, for some serious savings.

5. Donations

Even if you’re making a regular donation, you’re probably still giving to causes throughout the year, and that can add up. Whether you’re sponsoring a friend, or chipping to to fund a fun-run, find some way of keeping track of what you’re giving, and add a monthly average to your budget once you’ve got an idea of what you’re generally giving.

Donations that you make monthly or yearly are pretty easy tot up, and you should receive all the paperwork you need at tax time from the organisation you’re donating to.

Ready to take your budgeting level to ‘Expert’? Get started with Moneytree now.

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Author: Moneytree Team

Giving you the skinny on spending, saving, and everything in between. We're sharing our favourite tips, trips, tools, and insights, to help you get more out of your money.