Budgeting for the Lazy


Question:

  1. Have you had difficulty keeping track of your budget?
  2. Have you tried writing down everything you buy or spend on, but found it really tiresome and gave up after a few days?
  3. Have you found that even gathering the receipts has not really helped and that you just ended up with crumpled pieces of paper inside your quickly bulging wallet?
  4. And did you still run out of money by mid-month?

If your answer is YES, then “Bite-Sized Budgeting” may be suitable for you and all it takes are 3 simple steps:

1. Take an item that tends to go over-budget

2. Take the monthly budget and the frequency that you spend an item. For example, your budget for online purchases may be USD74.70 per month and you shop 4 times a month

3. Divide the monthly budget by the frequency that you spend. That is the number you remember. In our example, USD18.67. is the amount you can spend per online shopping occasion.

Easy enough, right?

What if you wanted to buy something that costs USD37.35 Then you either wait for week 2 to purchase it, or buy it now, but skip shopping event no. 2 --even if you still have USD37.35 left.

Here’s why…

If you simply spend until you deplete your budget, you will find that mid-month --or earlier, you’ve ran out of money for that item, which increases the likelihood that you will over-spend and possibly go into debt.

By delaying the purchase or “making up for it” immediately, you quickly get back on track and you don’t end up feeling “poor” at the end of the month.

Start with 2-3 large items that you have difficulty managing, so that you don’t have too many numbers to remember.

Do you have any practical budgeting methods to share? 

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