Steps to improve financial wellbeing

Organise your accounts

Organisation ideas, like sorting your money into account buckets, could help you stick to your budget and achieve your money goals.

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How a bit of organisation can help your financial wellbeing

Bills can be scary, but knowing how much of your money you’ll need for daily and weekly expenses, monthly bills and annual costs can make all the difference. Taking some time to list your expenses, then putting money aside so it’s there when you need it, could help you feel more in control.

Step 1. Check how many accounts you have

Does all your money come into and go out of one account? Or do you have a few accounts you use for different things?

If you have a few accounts, think about how you use them. Do they have specific purposes? How is your money split between them?

Step 2. Start by giving your account a purpose

Think of one expense you know you’ll need money for soon, or on a regular basis, e.g. rent or your power bill. 

Work out how much money you’ll need and how long you have before you need to pay it. Divide the amount you need by the number of paydays until you need it. Then, each payday, consider putting that amount into your account.

If you want to open a new account

If you have just one account, perhaps think about whether opening another one for a specific need or upcoming expense might work for you. Opening a new account can be easily done in your mobile banking app or internet banking. 

If you have a few accounts with no clear purpose, try thinking about what they could be used for.

Step 3. Nickname your accounts

Have some fun with your accounts by giving them a nickname that remind you what that money is set aside for. 

Most banks allow you to give accounts nicknames in your banking app or internet banking. For your ANZ accounts, you can add or change an account nickname in ANZ goMoney or ANZ Internet Banking in Settings.

Buckets for your money

The popular 50-30-20 budget sets up the concept of splitting your income into three buckets:

  • Needs (usually the biggest bucket)
  • Wants
  • Goals.

How much you put into each bucket will depend on how you break down your spending. Our budget calculator can help you work this out, and create a budget that may work for you. 

You might find a split of 80-15-5, 70-20-10 or something else works better for your budget. What’s important is:

  • Finding a split that works for you
  • Getting into the habit of moving your money into your buckets the moment your pay enters your account. 

Your needs bucket

These are necessary costs for you to live, like a roof over your head, food, electricity, transport, credit card and loan repayments… basically, anything that must be paid.

Look at how much your needs cost each fortnight or month. You can then work out how much of your pay goes towards your needs. This percentage can be a good guide for the bucket split you choose.

Your wants bucket

These are the things that make life good, but you could potentially reduce, swap for something cheaper, or give up. Common examples include new clothes or gadgets, entertainment and social outings. Put a portion of your income into this bucket so you don’t have to miss out on the good stuff.

Your goals bucket

This bucket looks different to everybody. It’s the money you set aside to help future you. 

Common examples include:

  • Saving an emergency cash cushion
  • Saving for something specific, like a holiday, car, or special event
  • If you’re in debt, extra repayments to pay it off faster
  • Growing your long-term savings, e.g. KiwiSaver or saving for a new home.

Example of buckets in practice

Imagine you're trying an 80-15-5 budget and your fortnightly after-tax pay is $1,000.

Needs: 80% = $800

Out of your pay, $800 would go into your selected needs account.

Wants: 15% = $150

You set aside $150 for your wants – things that help you enjoy life.

Goals: 5% = $50

The final $50 might go into a savings account. Having a specific goal can help you stay motivated. Examples include an emergency fund, a holiday, or the bond or deposit for a new home.

How accounts for each bucket can help you budget

Within each of your buckets, having different accounts for different types of expenses could be useful when it comes to managing your money. Your budget can tell you how much to put into each account every payday, and you can see at a glance how much you have.

This works for savings too. Having accounts for different types of savings, e.g. short-term and longer-term, means you can easily see how close you are to your savings goals.

Choosing a type of account

While there’s no real limit to the number of bank accounts you can have, it pays to think about what kind of account would suit – everyday or savings. Everyday accounts tend to allow you to access your money more easily. With a savings account you earn interest on your money, but there may be criteria you need to meet first or restrictions on how you access your money.

When choosing accounts, keep in mind details like fees, minimum monthly deposits, and restrictions or fees for withdrawals.

Managing your accounts

It may be helpful to start with one everyday account for your needs, and one savings account for your wants or goals.

Once you’re comfortable managing several accounts, you might split your wants or goals into different categories. Here’s an example of how that could work:

  • An everyday account for needs, like rent or home loan repayments, groceries and bills 
  • An everyday account with a debit card for daily spending and wants like going to the movies
  • A savings account for your emergency fund
  • A savings account for a specific goal, like concert tickets, a new TV or a holiday.

How you organise yours might be completely different. Remember, you’re in control, so do what suits you and your situation.

Automate your accounts

The less you have to think about allocating and saving money, the easier it may be to do. So, once you’ve set up your accounts and given each one a purpose, you can think about automating them.

Split your after-tax pay

You could set up automatic payments after you get paid to automatically split your income between your accounts. That way you’ll know the right amount of money is where you need it to be.


To make sure you’ve got enough in your accounts to cover your expenses, you could set up alerts for when your balance dips below a certain amount.

Paying bills

To make sure your bills and debt repayments come out on their due dates, you could try direct debits and automatic payments. 

For bills that could be different each time, see if the business offers direct debit as a payment option. Direct debits allow for the amount due to be taken directly from your account.

For set amounts on set days, you could set up automatic payments. 

How to do this in your accounts

If you’re an ANZ customer, to set up regular payments, go to Transfer in the ANZ goMoney mobile app or ANZ Internet Banking:

  1. Select which account the bill should be paid from
  2. Choose the amount to pay
  3. Choose the date
  4. Choose Repeat, e.g. weekly, fortnightly or monthly. 

Steps to financial wellbeing

Our financial wellbeing programme can help. Try one step or two, or work through the programme's six steps in any order.

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Important information

This material is for information purposes only. Please talk to us if you need financial advice about your situation and goals or about our products and services. See our financial advice provider disclosure (PDF 39.9KB).

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