How to bucket your money and save

Bucketing is a smart way to manage your money without complicated budgets or spreadsheets. The idea is to set up multiple bank accounts called ‘buckets’ and use each one for a specific purpose, like bills, savings or entertainment. Once your buckets are set up, it’s easier to see and control how you spend and save your money.

How to bucket your money and save

The benefits of bucketing

If you’re not good with money and struggle to save, then bucketing could work for you. Many use it to reduce debts, control spending and achieve bigger goals, like buying a home or saving for retirement. Bucketing can also help you save your money for larger but infrequent bills like car registration, school fees and energy bills.

Step 1. Work out where you spend your money

It’s important to work out exactly how you spend your money. Use a budget planner calculator to make it easier to see where your income goes. Once you’ve done this you’ll feel more in control of your money and have a clear view of areas you can save.

Step 2. Group your spending into categories

Group each category of your spending into a few themes such as regular and daily expenses, spending money and savings, then add up the total amounts in each theme. These themes will become your buckets or accounts. You can have as many buckets as you like but here’s an example of how to group them:

Bucket 1 – Regular and daily expenses

This is for regular bills, rent, mortgage, debts, groceries, transport, school fees, insurances and holidays. This account should be linked to a debit card. 

Bucket 2 – Spending money

Use this bucket for fun money to splurge on things like socialising or treating yourself and others. This account should be linked to a debit card. You can use an app to take control of your spending.

Bucket 3 – Emergencies and safety money

This one is for the big or unexpected expenses that can catch you off guard, like home or car repairs, dental work or paying off debts. This account should earn interest and have no debit card, so you’re not tempted to spend.

Bucket 4 – Savings

Use this to put aside money for things like travel, a new car or reducing debt. Ideally this should be an account that earns interest and has no debit card.

Step 3. Open your bucket bank accounts

You’ll need a basic transaction account to get started. 

Once you have opened a transaction account, you can easily open more accounts.

For more budgeting tips, give us a call.

Source: NAB

Reproduced with permission of National Australia Bank (‘NAB’). This article was originally published at

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Authorised Representative 298494
Interprac Financial Planning Pty Ltd 

Darryl Jopling

Senior Adviser

I have worked in the financial services industry since 1982 and as a Financial Adviser since 1999.

I have worked for large Financial Planning businesses, Membership based organisations and looked after the financial planning needs of clients within an Accounting Practice before starting my own business.

I am married, have 4 older children and a grandson and I am keen golfer with mixed results like many .

I have been through many of the strategies I talk with clients about myself and with my family.

I have been through the journey of seeing my parents move into Aged care and negotiated the difficulties and pitfalls of understanding the system for them and this gives me an excellent insight into what is required to assist families at this difficult time.

In a previous roll I used to run retirement seminars looking at Centrelink and Retirement Incomes and how to make these work for you. I have helped many of my clients with Aged Care advice when their parents needed to move into Nursing Homes. For many clients I assist them with superannuation, building wealth and protecting their loved ones with insurance.

I am supported by his, Licensee, Interprac Financial Planning’s in-house resources and ongoing technical, systems and training.

I am committed to understanding your needs and identifying strategies and products to help you achieve your goals.

My guiding principle as an Adviser is to design plans which help to provide my clients with clarity of purpose and the opportunity to build a solid financial foundation.
I will take the time to listen, explain things clearly and keep you informed throughout the advice process.

My experience is complemented by professional qualifications including:

  • Certified Financial PlannerTM Professional
  • Diploma of Financial Planning

At Choice Financial Advice we work with you along the way on life’s journey.

Whether you are getting married, starting a family, embarking on the trip of a lifetime, planning to enjoy your years after work or assisting elderly parents with Aged Care and Nursing Home placements, we can help.