Sub category: Teens
6 September 2018

How to balance wants and needs in your budget

Let’s say you’re walking past a restaurant and you see your favourite burger place has a special on. Buying it would take you slightly over your weekly food budget. But it would really hit the spot…

When starting out your savings journey, it’s important to have the skills to tell the difference between something that will be a worthwhile investment and something that is just instant gratification. That’s not to say you can’t ever buy things that you want – but it means you’ll be able to splurge on things every now and then without throwing off your budget.

Here’s how to master the balance between wants and needs and save in the long run.

Identifying wants vs needs

The first step is to make a list of everything you purchase…and we mean everything.

Include food, online expenses such as Netflix and Spotify, clothes and anything else you spend money on. You can make the list in a word doc or write it out by hand if this helps you – or Excel for easy calculations for those formula geeks.

Divide your purchases into categories, such as “Entertainment.” Then label each category as either a necessity or a want. Necessities are things that you need purchase as part of your life. Think transport expenses, or lunch at the canteen. Wants are things that you don’t necessarily need to get by. We’ve included a few examples of each category below.

By ING - How to balance wants and needs in your budget 1

Once you have your different categories sorted, work out a 50/30/20 budget for each month. This means you allocate 50 per cent of your pay to necessities, 30 per cent to your wants, and 20 per cent to savings.

By ING - How to balance wants and needs in your budget 2

When you’re living at home, you’ll have less “necessities” like groceries and bills, so you can tweak your budget to suit your lifestyle. When you move out of home, keeping up this habit really helps as you will need to handle bills, rent and other expenses.

How to resist instant gratification

A good way to go is to automate your savings so you always have 20 per cent (or whatever amount you choose) going into your savings and you’re easily able to limit day to day spending. You can learn how to do this here.

Also, try creating a rewards system for yourself as a challenge. Delay spending on wants based purchases until the last week of the month and see how much you save, then reward yourself with a single purchase from one of the categories you placed in your “wants” list in the earlier step (providing it’s within your budget).

Working hard and saving for the things you want can also make you appreciate them more.

How to save on instant gratification

Keep in mind, you don’t always have to resist instant gratification. If you feel like you need an instant gratification hit, there are ways to save while getting a similar experience.

  • Try thrift shopping instead of adding another sale item to cart. You can often find something more unique and it will be much cheaper.
  • Instead of going out to the cinema, host a movie night at home with friends.
  • Feel like some fast food? Take a look at some recipe sites as they sometimes have cheap ways you can make similar dishes at home. You’ll probably end up making bigger portions, which means more leftovers.
Master your money management with the right account.
Check out an ING Orange Everyday Youth account today.


Important information

Orange Everyday Youth

Orange Everyday Youth is an account for individuals who are 15 to 17 years old. Joint accounts and overdrafts are not available for Orange Everyday Youth.

Rebate Offers for Orange Everyday Youth Customers

All Orange Everyday Youth accounts will receive the Global ATM Rebate Offer and the International Transaction Fee Rebate Offer. This means that:

  • for ATMs in Australia – any ATM fee charged by the ATM operator is paid back to you immediately following the transaction,
  • for ATMs outside Australia:
    • ING will pay back the International ATM withdrawal fee of $2.50 immediately after it is charged, and
    • ING will pay back any ATM fee charged by the ATM operator when your transaction is finalised (settled).

While a transaction is pending, the amount the ATM operator charges in fees will be deducted from your available balance and will be paid back to you after the transaction is finalised (settled). ATM transactions made outside Australia can take up to 5 business days to finalise, so that means it can take up to 5 business days for us to pay back overseas ATM fees to you, and

  • for ING international transaction fees on card purchases – ING will pay back the International Transaction fee of 2.5% of the amount of the international transaction immediately after it is charged. The person you’re buying things from may charge you a separate fee for their services (which we will not pay back to you under this offer).

This offer may be changed or withdrawn at any time at ING’s sole discretion.

Savings Maximiser – For Orange Everyday Youth Customers

Interest rates are subject to change. High variable interest rate comprised of standard variable rate and additional variable rate. Additional variable rate can only apply when you also have an Orange Everyday Youth. The additional variable rate that is added to the Savings Maximiser standard variable rate applies on one Savings Maximiser per customer on balances up to $100,000.

Any amounts above $100,000 are subject to the Savings Maximiser standard variable rate applicable at the time. If you do not have an Orange Everyday Youth, the Savings Maximiser standard variable rate applies. If you have multiple Savings Maximiser accounts, visit online banking or call us on 133 464 to check or change which Savings Maximiser account receives the additional variable rate (if eligible). ING can change or withdraw the additional variable rate at any time. The additional variable rate is not payable in conjunction with any other promotional rate.

This offer may be changed or withdrawn at any time at ING’s sole discretion.

Any advice on this website does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. Before making any decision in relation to an Orange Everyday Youth and Savings Maximiser, you should read the Orange Everyday Youth Terms and Conditions, the Orange Everyday Fees and Limits Schedule and the Savings Maximiser Terms and Conditions available at If you have a complaint, please call us on 133 464 at any time as we have procedures in place to help resolve any issues you may have. Products are issued by ING, a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292, AFSL 229823.

The information is current as at publication. Any advice on this website does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you. Deposit products, savings products, credit card and home loan products are issued by ING, a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 229823. ING Living Super (which is part of the ING Superannuation Fund ABN 13 355 603 448) is issued by Diversa Trustees Limited ABN 49 006 421 638, AFSL 235153 RSE L0000635. The insurance cover offered by ING Living Super is provided by Metlife Insurance Limited ABN 75 004 274 882, AFSL 238096. ING Insurance is issued by Auto & General Insurance Company Limited (AGIC) ABN 42 111 586 353 AFSL Licence No 285571 as insurer. It is distributed by Auto & General Services Pty Ltd (AGS) ABN 61 003 617 909 AFSL 241411 and by ING as an Authorised Representative AR 1247634 of AGS. All applications for credit are subject to ING's credit approval criteria, and fees and charges apply. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement, Terms and Conditions, Fees and Limits Schedule, Financial Services Guide, Key Facts Sheet and Credit Guide available at when deciding whether to acquire, or to continue to hold, a product. Before interacting with us via our social media platforms, please take a minute to familiarise yourself with our Social Media User Terms

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