Budgeting can be daunting. It's a very adult thing to do, and if you're only just figuring out how to be an adult, adult stuff like budgets can be scary. But here's the thing: budgeting isn't all that scary! Here are some things that are less worrisome than budgets: climate change, Donald Trump, potholes in the road, not calling your parents enough, binge-drinking, the idea of Friends not being available to stream online. Budgeting actually doesn't need to be something you have to worry about, if you do it right. And doing it right isn't that hard at all.
While budgeting might differ from individual to individual, there are certain universal things we can all and should do to balance our budgets. These things are so simple too, so you don't have to be an accountant to get the hang of it. And once you start doing these easy things, you'll start to realize that things like budgeting really aren't that hard to do, and that you shouldn't worry so much. Maybe you won't be able to splurge on that cashmere sweater this month, but hey, at least you'll be able to pay rent! Here are some easy ways to balance your budget that will make you realize it's nothing to worry about.
1. Put Savings In A Different Account, Immediately
As soon as you get paid, put a portion of it into savings. However that much is is up to you, but make it consistent and make it immediate. Once it's there, DO NOT touch it. Unless, of course, it's for the thing you're saving for.
2. Put Aside Your Rent In Increments
If you get paid monthly, put away a lump sum in an account you don't touch (I put mine in my savings, along with other savings, until rent day). If you get paid weekly or every second week, put away a portion of your rent so that at the end of the month your rent money will just be magically sitting there, and you won't have to blow one whole pay check on it.
3. Think Of Spending In Terms Of Needs And Wants
When you're spending money, categorize what you're spending on as a need or a want. Food, bills, and rent are all needs. An expensive pair of occasion shoes is a want. Know the difference, and prioritize the needs. There will always be more wants, but your needs are generally consistent. Simple, see?
4. Stick To One Form Of Payment
It's easier to track what you're spending if you pay using one method. Either go cash/debit or credit only, and it will be simpler to track your spending. If you choose credit, make sure you only spend what you can pay back! It will become very apparent very quickly if you're living outside your means.
5. Pay Your Bills As Soon As You Get Them
This should seem like a no-brainer but you'd be surprised what you have to spell out sometimes: pay your bills when they come! It's much less daunting to pay the cost of one bill than to find yourself lumped with having to pay six at once. Don't let them pile up!
6. Set Realistic Goals
When your budgeting, be real. Be honest with yourself about what you can save and what you can spend. Money doesn't grow on trees, so always set goals that are within your means, and you'll do just fine.
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