The beloved (or dreaded) word known as budget can either cause a wave of peace or strife for many. If the traditional way of budgeting hasn’t been much of a help to you, trust there are always other methods that may better suit you and your lifestyle. Take a look at these options and don’t be afraid to put them to the test.
Lucky 3 Combo: Deposit, Cash & Savings
If discipline is your number one focus as it relates to your finances, this may be just the method for you. After you’re compensated, everything goes into a dedicated account. After bills have been paid, you adopt the cash method for certain expenses such as entertainment. The idea behind this is that it forces you to budget and eliminate any impulsive purchases. Once the money is gone, that bucket is considered closed until your next payment cycle. The remaining funds (versus a percentage) will then be transferred to your savings account – because remember, it’s always important to pay yourself. So often people commit to a percentage when in actuality, can save so much more.
Don’t enjoy keeping track of so many different due dates for bills? Try your hand at setting up auto-pay. This eliminates the need to track various payment dates and the chore of making payments every time your direct deposit hits. If that may be too much for you in the beginning, start out by automating your smaller or static monthly bills such as water, cable or phone. Remember, regardless of whether the bills are automated – you are still in charge of your finances. As always, don’t forget to make sure enough money is available in your checking accounts to rest easy knowing payments clear with ease.
Thrive List Budgeting
Want to shift your focus about the way you feel about budgeting? Take some time and write down 5-10 long-term goals that are important to you and/or your family and what’s needed to make sure they’re reached. If vacationing is valuable, then maybe you all can opt for more home cooked meals and in-house activities to make sure you’re able to completely indulge on vacation. This type of budgeting keeps your goals at the forefront of your mind, influencing positive and conscious decisions about how money is being spent in your household.
There’s also no harm in adopting all three! Make this an exploratory experience – you’ll never know what’s truly best for you and your situation until you try it out. What methods have been most successful for you?