Does the idea of creating a budget make you roll your eyes? Look. It’s not fun. It can take a lot of work and time to create a budget. If you want to get your financial life in order, you need to work toward being smart with your money. Let’s look at how to budget when you hate budgets.
You do need to know where your money is going each month. A great way to do that is to track your expenses for at least two months. This can be an eye-opening experience. Once you see how much money you’re wasting on expensive cups of coffee or fast food, you’ll be more aware and careful with your money.
Get Rid of the Things You Don’t Need
Once you see where your money is going, go through and weed out the expenses you don’t need. For example, if you don’t watch Netflix that often, cancel your subscription. If you’re spending a lot on coffee, look for a cheaper alternative.
Have More Money Coming In Than Going Out
This is the most important thing. If you don’t want to have a budget, you at least need to make sure you have more money coming in each month than the amount going out. Many people live above their means and have more money going out than coming in. With a bit of quick math, you can see how much you can afford to spend in certain areas.
Use the Envelope System
Set an amount for your variable expenses and put those amounts into envelopes. Leave your debit and credit cards at home and rely on the money in those envelopes. For example, if you only allow yourself $100 in gas money each month, you’ll be a lot more careful about how much driving you do.
Last, but not least, be smart about your money. You know whether or not something will break your budget. You also know that part of your money needs to be put into savings and retirement. Before you buy something, ask yourself if the money would be better spent elsewhere.
No one said being an adult was fun. You have to deal with things that aren’t easy. One of those things is making your paycheck go the distance. If you don’t want to create a real budget, you can follow these tips to make sure you’re still budgeting your money.