Spending money is easy, saving it is harder, and budgeting is your middle ground. No matter how much money you earn, you need to be able to manage your finance. Some people assume that if you don’t earn enough money, then budgeting is not an option. That is a myth! I’ve had multiple jobs in a short span of time and I noticed that the less I earned, the more I saved, and the more I earned, the more I spent. Point is, that you can budget whatever your income is.
We’ve all seen one version or another of the same payday meme circulating social media. No wonder it went viral because the majority relates to it. Budgeting forces you to live within your means. That means, no unnecessary spending, no emotional spending, and at the same time, it improves your financial well-being without being too restrictive.
The 50/30/20 Rule
One of the most used and easiest ways of budgeting is the 50/30/20 rule. You basically divide your income so that 50% of it goes towards the essentials such as; utilities, transportation, therapy, debt, groceries, medical bills, etc.… 30% would be all yours to spend on what you like whether it’s eating out, shopping, travelling, or anything that brings you joy. The remaining 20% should go toward your savings accounts, emergency fund, and investments. This golden rule of budgeting is perfect for anyone who has never tried budgeting or tried and failed.
But what if your essentials exceed 50% of your income? You may ask! Well, there are a few options to look at. You might wanna look for a part-time job to balance it out, or you can downsize the cost of some of the essentials. For instance, don’t go for an expensive brand when buying groceries, maybe try a generic one. Cut down on Ubers if possible.
Tracking where your money goes is also important to know where to make cuts or upgrades. Budgeting apps have made tracking so much easier and when you see that “spending graph” every time you open the app, you’ll be much more money-conscience than before. You’ll be shocked about where the majority of your money goes; so you might want to try Mint or GoodBudget.
You know misery is not the only thing that loves company, budgeting loves it too. Having a budgeting buddy will make it a bit easier to follow on with it. It’s like having your own personal money-support system and you will be less tempted to spend money on things you don’t need.
Remember, budgeting doesn’t mean cutting the fun out of your life, it is just being selective about who deserves your money. Think of it as the financial equivalent of your dating standards; not everyone makes the cut!