Budgeting for a young adult

Budgeting and looking after your finances is popular these days and so many people are on their own debt-free journey.

*Please note everything I say in this blog is just from my personal opinion, I’m 21 and only have myself to look out for. I haven’t read any books or listened to any podcasts… I have simply found what works best for me.

I keep my budget all in a self-developed Excel spreadsheet and use the Autosum function to keep everything accurate. If you’re familiar with Excel, it is easy enough to set up on your own, and if you’re not familiar with it, there are many tutorials online that show you how to use it.


In 2017 (I was 19 at the time) I purchased a brand-new car with a car loan; I pay $122 a fortnight which is more than was required and I am able to pay extra money towards it whenever I wish. It was the best timing for me to get a loan as I was and still am living at home, so my expenses are limited. Essentially, I will have the loan paid off before I move out.

Not that I’ve completed University yet (a few months left), but I will eventually have a very large HECS debt that I will need to pay off as well. Similarly, I can begin to pay this off when I choose. Once I hit a certain salary amount it will automatically begin to be paid off.


Budgeting Spreadsheet

In one tab, I have my ‘Schedule’ it keeps every date for the entire year of when all my direct debits come out and when my bills are due.

I have it divided into 3 sections; Housing, Transportation and Personal.

  • Housing
    • iTunes Apple Music
    • Stan
    • Phone Bill
  • Transportation
    • Car Loan
    • Car Rego
    • Car Insurance
  • Personal
    • Gym Membership
    • Afterpay (this is only included when I have items on it)

This helps me keep on track and allows me to have all my information in one place.

In another tab I have ‘Fortnightly Budget’, I get paid from both of my two larger jobs fortnightly, one on Wednesday and the other the Thursday. Therefore, I budget every part of my fortnight ahead from that pay.

I have numerous accounts that are all active for different reasons;

  • Personal (this is where my pay goes into)
  • Activate (this is my card, yes, I have to transfer to my card to use it, this keeps me accountable)
  • Personal Savings
  • Holiday Savings
  • Fun/Social
  • University (I use this account to purchase textbooks, food or drink whilst at Uni, recharge my MetroCard [Adelaide Metro Buses] and pay for parking if I decide to drive to Uni)
  • Birthday Savings
  • Personal Emergency (this is what I use when I need scripts filled at the chemist or if I need to go to the doctors)



I have a set amount of money that I transfer into the above accounts every fortnight. For example, I transfer $50 into my Fun/Social account and any food/drinks or small social events throughout the next fortnight.

After that, I look through my calendar and add events into my budget such as nails, Chiro etc in. I also limit myself to a budget for any social events and these get added into my fortnightly budget. My spreadsheet then adds my ‘Expenses’ for the fortnight up with my ‘Direct Debits’ together. It adds my two pays up and minus’ the ‘Expenses’ and ‘Direct Debit’ total and leaves me with what I’ll have left for the fortnight. Essentially, without any spontaneous spending, I shouldn’t touch what is left in my bank account if I’ve budgeted correctly. I will on a Thursday transfer and move around all the money so by Thursday night I’m set to go for the fortnight ahead.

Like I said at the start of this blog, this is just what works for me! It isn’t too strictly structured, but it has helped me be aware of my finances, keep within budget and has meant I haven’t had to ask for money from my parents in quite a while. I wish I knew more about budgeting and reading The Barefoot Investor is definitely on my to-read list but for the meantime I will continue to budget in this way.


“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” Dave Ramsey

Lots of love, B xoxo




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