There’s more than one way to take control of your spending habits. Just because you’ve tried one method of budgeting before and struggled to see results doesn’t mean that better money management isn’t right for you. Instead, it simply indicates that you need to try and handle your money in a different way.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a mastermind with numbers to get to grips with your budgeting strategy. Here, we’re going to look at just some of the ways that you can easily organise your money and start seeing real results.
Probably the simplest form of budgeting there is, subtraction budgeting is all about adding up how much cash you earn each month and then simply taking away the amount you need to spend on bills and essential expenses. Once you’re done subtracting, you take an extra amount (usually around 20% of your income” away from your left-over cash for savings.
The money you have left at the end of the subtraction method is the amount you can use to spend on whatever you like. Just remember to stick to the savings part, you’re going to need that cash in the future.
One of the most common challenges that people face when it comes to budgeting in the digital era is that they rarely get to hold their money in their hands. Instead, money moves through credit cards and virtual transactions instead. This means that you end up losing track of things like coffee you buy on your card or contactless transactions.
A good way to address this problem is to switch to cash or “envelope” budgeting. In this method, you take all your cash out of the bank (except for the money you need for digital bills), and separate it into envelopes for expenses like groceries, and entertainment. That way you know exactly how much you have to spend in each area of your budget.
Two Bank Budgeting
The concept of two bank budgeting is built around the idea that once you get paid from your job, you pay yourself a certain amount first, and then separate your cash into one bank for the things you need and want, and one bank for your savings. With this type of budgeting, you begin by opening a checking account at a separate bank. You place your actual pay check into this account in the future, and then pay yourself a certain amount from that bank to your other account based on how much you need for your bills.
You can also give yourself a little bit of extra cash for wants, but the rest stays in the extra account, un-touched as savings. This can be a good way to eliminate the temptation of over spending.
This is a pretty simple budgeting technique that’s been around for a few years now. The idea behind proportional budgeting is that you spend all of your money into three categories: the things you need, the things you want, and your savings.
The things you need are those that you can’t help but spend money on each month, like your food bills, your utilities, and your rent or mortgage. On the other hand, wants can include things like entertainment, additional food, and other treats. Anything that goes beyond your basic needs is a “want.”
With a proportional budget, you split your money across the three categories in a clear way. Most of the time, this means spending 50% on needs, 30% on wants, and 20% on savings. You can adjust proportions according to how much you can afford to save and spend after your “needs” are met.
If you want to make saving as simple and automated as possible, then you can always make the most of technology and automate everything. To do this, you’re going to need a bank account that comes with a great online banking system, and the option to create additional accounts where necessary for your savings.
When you start an automatic budgeting strategy, you work on getting every bill you need to pay handled automatically, so you don’t have to worry about them. This is a great way to make sure that you don’t end up missing out on paying your expenses on time. Once you’ve started to see how much money you have left at the end of each month, you’ll begin to understand how much you can reasonably afford to save and spend after your bills are automatically paid.