Family budgeting now routine for a reformed spender

I’M a reformed spender. It’s true.

Before I had Oliver I didn’t think twice about saving, didn’t know or understand enough about finance to care and certainly loved my credit card.

But then when Ollie turned up, we shifted to one incoming wage and I realised my attitude to money also had to shift.

It wasn’t easy. I cut up my credit cards(!), applied for a debit card for online purchases and started to put away regular amounts into a high-interest account. I also had to pay back what I owed and little by little, it got easier. In fact now it’s like a routine.

It appears that I’m not the only one. Last month figures released by the Federal Government suggest Australian households are saving more than ever – we’re now saving around 10 per cent of our income, which is up from a bit below zero per cent five years ago.

I guess the global financial crisis probably changed a few mindsets about their spending habits, which is a good thing.

Last week financial guru - and one man's financial advice to listen to - Warren Buffet released his open annual letter to Bershire Hathaway shareholders. It’s full of practical advice when it comes to investment, but there was one part of the letter that really caught my eye.

Buffett talks about liquidity in the current climate, $10 billion to be exact, and how having that money tucked away is good for him and his company.

“Having loads of liquidity … lets us sleep well,” he wrote in the letter.

Of course having savings for some is like having a crash pad but for the average household with kids, life can be expensive. So while it’s all well and good for the Buffetts of the world to offer advice, what are some of the ways you organise your family budget?