If you’re like most people, you don’t have a budget. Gallup’s most recent poll says just 32% of American’s do. Why budget? As you earn more, it can really help you live your best life. That’s right, instead of looking at a budget as restricting, see it for what it can do for you! For instance, knowing that you are spending $400 a month eating out might help you figure out how to save for the larger refrigerator that can get you back to your love of cooking. Maybe you don’t like cooking, but you really enjoy short weekend road trips. Knowing that you spend an extra $80 a month on premium cable channels and movies, but would rather be hiking than watching TV might help you make the move to a fire stick so you have the money to head for the hills once a month!
Whatever your goals for your time away from work, knowing what you spend is the first step to spending differently to reach them. Here are three easy budgeting methods to get you started:
- The ‘Envelope’ Method
After putting a regular set amount in savings (if you don’t already have that automatically taken out and deposited each week), put the rest in envelopes or separate accounts for each category of your spending: Food, Housing, Transportation, Healthcare, Bills, Clothing, Entertainment Here’s more on the Envelope Method https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-envelope-budgeting-1293682
- 50/30/20 Method
Set aside 50% of your paycheck for NEEDS, 30% for WANTS, and the rest for savings. Here’s more on the 50/30/20 Method https://gentwenty.com/what-to-do-when-you-get-your-paycheck/
- 80/20 Method
Just be sure to put 20% aside for savings first. Spend the rest as needed, but keep records so you can see where it’s going!
If 20% savings doesn’t leave enough for bills and living, you have options. Now that you have a budget and know how you spend your paycheck, it’s easier to see where you might cut expenses. Can’t cut anywhere? You may need to pick up a part-time job to get ahead – ask us, we might have something for you. You can check with us to see if we have a better full-time opportunity for you too!