Money is always a strange thing to talk about, luckily I have a strange thing to say!
Don’t budget your spending.
No, I’m not crazy.
For me personally, I was never good at budgeting my spending. I was constantly setting and resetting my budget, trying to find a magic number I could stay under and it never worked out for me.
Up until the beginning of this year when I started an experiment. Instead of budgeting what I would spend, I budgeted what I would save.
First, pick a percentage of your income that you can do without. It may be easy to start with 10%. I personally started with 35%. Then, every time you get in a paycheck immediately put that percentage into savings. Yay! You did it! You met your budget! Now, what about the rest of the money? Spend it (somewhat) freely. Don’t spend all of it and overdraft, but don’t feel horrible about spending some of it.
Then, next month save 5-10% more. If you started saving 10%, try 15% the next month. Spend the rest of your money responsibly! Keep increasing the amount you save each month until you’ve gone to far. For me, I do very well up to 60% savings. Update: I ended up changing it to 30-50% depending on the month since my expenses have increased.
It’s a new way to think about money! Each month I’m really excited to see my savings accounts go up. I have five savings accounts (They all represent specific goals, like one is for our future house) that I divide that 60% savings into. Meeting budgets has never felt so good!
This type of budget needs a lot of trial, error, and patience. If you push your savings too far and can’t live off of what money you keep in your checking account, scale back another 5-10% until you feel comfortable again.
This is how I keep all of my spending in check. It sounds weird but it has really worked out to me. Focusing on making your total balance between all of your accounts larger rather then focusing on ow much I take out of my accounts makes me feel very accomplished.
How do you keep your money in check? I’d love to know your tips!
For more on saving money, check out my Learning to Live Minimally resolution posts.
Kindness is the best accessory,