Many people share the same sentiment that budgeting money is just too difficult. This is especially true for people with families, kids who are in school, and young adults who are just starting their careers. The truth about managing finances is, you just need to create a simple system that works for your lifestyle and goals.
If you don’t get huge paychecks every month, then you may need to make a few sacrifices to make ends meet. Otherwise, you will only survive paycheck to paycheck, which isn’t ideal. You don’t need complicated formulas and tedious math. You simply need to assess your expenses each month and save as much as you can.
Listed below are four simple and basic tips to simplify your budget. By following these and being consistent with the system, you can make sure your hard-earned money is being used in impactful ways.
Budgeting With The 60% Rule
This rule simply means structuring your budget in a way that all your expenses will fit within 60% of your gross monthly income. This percentage is enough to cover for rent, food allowances, transportation, gas, dining, and any other expenses.
Other than the 60%, you can set aside the remaining 40% for short-term savings, emergency funds, leisure, and investment. The secret here is being consistent throughout the month and not using short-term savings and retirement money. You can also try the cash envelope system. Get a separate envelope for each expense that you can grab easily. This way, you won't mix the money allocated for a specific budget.
Simplify Accounts And Pay Off Debts
Before you can officially start saving, you need to clear off any debt on your plate. Gather everything that you owe and evaluate how you can pay everything in a certain time period. For instance, if you want to be debt-free in two years, you need to increase monthly payments to speed up the process.
After assessing your debts, you can also simplify your accounts in one main savings account, one checking account, and one spending account. Put your monthly budget in the latter account, so you don’t mess up your savings account. This will also help you track your spending and not use more money.
Stay On Schedule With Payments
Never miss any deadlines when it comes to paying credit cards, mortgages, and any other monthly obligations. Remember that if you miss the interest-free period, you can get penalties on top of your bill.
One thing you can do to prevent charges is set up a system to automate your payments. Whenever there’s a new bill, the payments will be automatically deducted from your savings or checking account.
Rely On Cash
If you use cash, you are aware of the money you are spending. With this, if you don't have the money you cannot just simply take out your card and swipe it. No money means no spending under this rule. Unexpected expenses can ruin your savings plan, so if you don’t have enough money to buy something, then move along.
Sticking to your budget is hard when you can't control your spending, make sure you pay with the available cash you have. Don't use a credit card when you can't pay it off, it is better to rely on your available cash than overspend.
People can always claim that budgeting money is too hard, but it all boils down to discipline and being consistent. It doesn’t matter how intricate your budgeting tool or system is, if you lack discipline, then nothing will improve. Limit your expenses and stick to your budget to be debt-free. Then you can enjoy life without having to worry about debts and overspending.