Bucketing your money to help organise your saving and spending
12 December 2020
Christina Roberts is the Local Market Leader of the Suncorp Concept store in Paramatta, NSW. Here she shares her insights into how ‘bucketing’ your spending and savings can help you manage your money.
“I’ve met many customers over the years who say that money is one of the main sources of stress in their lives. We’ve found that often, the core issue is not that people don’t have enough money, it’s that they don’t know how to budget properly and effectively,” says Christina Roberts.
“Aside from budgeting for bills, mortgage repayments and insurance, managing money can be even harder when trying to orchestrate a major project like a home renovation.”
What is bucketing?
Mentally juggling your funds that are sitting in one place can be almost impossible for people who aren’t accountants, but there may be a simpler way: bucketing.
The concept of bucketing involves splitting your money into various segments, referred to as ‘buckets’. Rather than having all your funds in one big pile, which can easily get out of control, bucketing can give you a way to separate your finances and have a clearer view of your spending and may highlight opportunities for saving.
Organising your budget with bucketing
Getting your money organised can require a little time and focus, but it can be well worth it.
You can start by deciding on what’s important to you – do you want to pay off debt, save for something special or invest?
Researching how much you're spending on everyday expenses, such as groceries, energy bills and regular payments – rent, mortgage, car loan –can help you to know your outgoings.
There are a few online budgeting tools which can be a big help. You can experiment and juggle using the online tools to help you figure out what will work best for you.
Once you know how you spend your money, it’s time to divide and conquer.
For Suncorp Bank customers we have an account designed with bucketing in mind, the Everyday Options Account1 available for personal customers only.
Everyday Options Account
The Everyday Options Account is a main account for everyday spending with debit card access for cash withdrawals and purchases. This is the account for your day-to-day transactions. There is no monthly account keeping fee, no minimum deposit condition and no foreign currency conversion fees on Visa Debit card2 purchases made online/overseas.
You can then choose to add up to 9 sub-accounts to your main account3. You can split your money based on a goal or expense category, and by keeping it separate from your main account you may be less likely to dip into these funds. There is no debit card access with the sub-accounts (which can also help with overspending), and like the main account there are no monthly account keeping fees, no transaction fees on transfers and you can pay bills directly from your sub-accounts via Direct Debit or BPAY at no additional cost.
You can also personalise your sub-accounts by naming them in online banking according to your needs. For example, one for bills, a holiday or car loan.
Sub-accounts can also pay you interest, which can help achieve your savings goals sooner.
Why try bucketing your money?
Splitting your cash into separate piles can limit the temptation to spend money that’s allocated for another purpose, like bills or school fees.
“Many customers see their goals being achieved more quickly as they’re not dipping into their money as often as they might if it were all in the one main account,” says Christina.
Once your buckets are created, you can allocate your money to those buckets according to your goals, whether they be a holiday, renovation or fancy pair of shoes.
How to get the most out of bucketing
Bucketing can be a great practise if you’re saving for a major project, but it can also be great for day-to-day living.
For example, many people know how it feels to get hit with multiple bills at once and having to manage which get paid in what order. This is especially relevant with energy bills and rates, or anything that’s billed quarterly. If you bucket your money using your Everyday Options sub-accounts however, bill-juggling can be easier to manage.
For example, you could create a sub-account for recurring bills, naming them 'Electricity Bill', 'Gas Bill', 'Broadband Bill' etc., or create just one sub-account named 'Utilities'. Then you could transfer money into those sub-accounts when payday comes around. If you set up automatic transfers this could make it even simpler. You can make payments directly from your individual sub-accounts through direct debit, BPAY or scheduled payments to help make it easier and more convenient to stay on top of your bills.
You could also use bucketing to help manage the different aspects of a big one-off cost, like a renovation. For example, you could label your buckets Design Costs, Building Costs, Painting, Decoration, etc.
You may also want to have everything linked to your internet banking and/or banking app, so you can easily access your money and keep yourself on track. You can track every dollar you spend with the Suncorp App for Suncorp banking customers, which can also come in handy when budgeting!
- How to save money with a savings account
- Deciding between savings accounts or term deposits
- Banking online: how to use the Suncorp App
Christina Roberts is the Local Market Leader of the Suncorp Concept store in Paramatta, NSW. Christina started at Suncorp as a Store Manager in Bondi and has also managed the Liverpool and Campbelltown stores. Her role involves coaching and training Suncorp team members how to best help customers get the most of their money.
Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. You should make your own enquiries, consider whether advice is appropriate for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Product Information Document before making any decisions about whether to acquire a product
1The Everyday Options Account is issued by Suncorp-Metway Ltd ABN 66 010 831 722 AFSL No 229882 (“Suncorp Bank”). Eligibility criteria, conditions, fees and charges apply and are available on request. Please read the Product Information Document for Personal Deposit Accounts before making any decision about this product. Go to www.suncorp.com.au/everyday for a copy.
2 To be eligible for a Suncorp Bank Visa Debit card you must be 16 years of age or older. If not eligible you will receive a Suncorp Bank eftpos card. There is only debit card access on the Everyday Options main account. There is no debit card access with sub-accounts.
3 You must hold an Everyday Options main account to open an Everyday Options sub-account (add up to nine).
4A Mortgage Offset Fee may apply to link the 100% Home Loan Offset facility to your home loan, which is waived under the Home Package Plus. The Mortgage Offset fee is charged to your linked loan account.
5Variable Interest rate effective 10 January 2002. Everyday Options main account interest is calculated daily and paid half yearly.
6Variable interest rate effective 13 November 2020. Everyday Options sub-accont interest is calculated daily and paid monthly.