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Created on 19.06.2018 | Updated on 13.05.2019

Take control of your finances with the right budget

Before you start making financial investments, it’s important to establish how much you can set aside for regular contributions. You do not necessarily need a professional accountant or financial advisor. You can work out your budget yourself in a few simple steps and determine how much money comes in, how much you spend each month and on what and what potential you have for saving or investing money.

A woman looking at a shop window displaying gifts and clothes.

A household budget is not just for people who start earning a wage for the first time or who are on a low income. If you know and have control over your budget, you can quickly identify what is eating up money in your everyday life and can also achieve your dreams and goals more easily – whether it’s going on holiday, buying a new car or studying. Managing your own budget also means you can set aside a certain amount each month to make investments in line with your requirements.

How to create a budget

Income then expenditure

Firstly, list all your income so you have an overview of all the money that comes in regularly. This includes income from your main job but also any secondary employment or maintenance and alimony payments that you may receive.

Then come your expenses

Firstly set out your monthly fixed costs. These include accommodation costs (rent or mortgage interest), insurance and healthcare contributions, passes or subscriptions (such as for public transport, pay TV, music channels or magazines, etc.), radio and television licence fees, mobile phone and Internet, electricity or motoring costs. Taxes are also fixed costs – if you don’t know the exact figure, you can usually roughly estimate the amount.

List of variable budget items

These are costs which are incurred every month like fixed costs but which can change from month to month and depend on your lifestyle. This includes money spent on food, dining out, household expenses, such as cleaning products and washing powder, as well as personal expenses like clothing, beauty products, the hairdresser and luxury items. The cost of keeping pets is also often overlooked. Note down exactly how much you spend on your four-legged companion each month.

The next step is about the provisions

Allow a monthly amount for emergencies (medical expenses, mobile phone repairs, replacement of electrical appliances, etc.) and perhaps also a fixed sum for pillar 3a payments.

Savings potential: What’s left over

You can invest some of this amount, for example, in investment funds , shares  or other types of investment depending on your investor profile . The easiest way is regular investment via a funds saving plan  or setting up a standing order to your savings account.

Recognizing savings potential thanks to a budget

What if there’s no money left for provisions and investment or if you even exceed your budget? If you have worked out your budget properly, you will soon identify how you are spending your money and where there is potential for savings. Your apartment might be too expensive, perhaps you only eat out instead of cooking for yourself, or you pay for subscriptions which you don’t really need. The Swiss budget advice website (The link will open in a new window provides useful tips and information.

How to get on top of your finances

A piece of advice for getting your budget under control – use your smartphone! There are lots of clever apps that allow you to plan and control your monthly budget. Our Excel template for your budget may also help with creating a plan and managing it each month. You can update the template as you wish so that it reflects your personal life situation.

Budgeting and investing go hand in hand – once you have got to grips with your budget and the things eating up your money in everyday life, you will soon identify where potential exists for getting the most out of your money through smart investment.

Setting up a standing order to a savings account is recommended for regular saving while you can invest regularly, for example, by making monthly purchases via a funds saving plan.

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