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15 Non-Traditional Budgeting Tips That Will Save You Money

Posted By peronalfynance40 152 days ago on Finance - I realize the importance of having a budget, but for a long time I could never be motivated to stick to one. I found that the traditional methods of budgeting didn’t work for me and I needed to find some alternatives. I am pretty good with saving money, but there are times when I splurge more than I should. This is why budgeting is important for me. If this sounds like you, here are a few alternatives to traditional budgeting that will save you money. 1. Maintain A Two-Account System Organize your finances by setting up two accounts. One account can be just for spending while the other account would be for paying bills every month. By doing this, you won’t have to worry about taking too much money out of one account and not have enough money to pay bills. Once you set up the accounts, you will have funds deducted from the second account towards the bills. 2. Use Budgeting Apps Another non-traditional way of budgeting is to use budgeting apps such as Mint and You Need A Budget. I love Personal Capital and it gives me detailed analyses on my income, spending habits, my savings goals, and how well my investments are doing. With budgeting apps, the process is simpler and not as tiresome. 3. Pay Yourself First Method This is a method that I often use when I’m budgeting. Every time I get paid, I put aside a portion of the money into savings and investments before I pay important bills and buy other things for the household. I find that when I put the first part of my income towards savings and investments, I feel a lot better about using the rest of my money towards bills and spending. 4. Cash Envelope System If you’re having trouble with overspending on your debit or credit cards, then this method might work for you. When you get paid, take out a certain amount of money and allocate them to different envelopes. These envelopes represent your important expenses such as gas, groceries, clothing, and other household expenses. Once you use up the cash in the envelopes, you can’t take out additional funds unless it is an emergency. 5. Shop Your Pantry Challenge If you have quite a few food items stocked in your pantry, don’t head to the store the next time you get paid. For about a month, you would cook with only the foods in your pantry and when the month is over, you can purchase a new load of groceries. This keeps you from making frequent trips to the store. 6. Try The Zero Based Budget The point of this kind of budget is to give all of your income a job. You start by writing down all sources of income and how much you earn every two weeks or every month. From there, you would write down your most important expenses such as rent, utilities, groceries, and clothing. Then add in other expenses such as savings, taxes, gifts for loved ones, contributions to your investment and retirement accounts, and miscellaneous expenses. Once you subtract the expenses from your income, the amount should be zero. 7. Pay A Few Bills Ahead of Time If you have an irregular income or an extra surplus of money, try to pay a few of the bills a month ahead of time. This frees up your future checks to use for investments, emergency savings, and buying fun stuff for yourself and your family. 8. Take Advantage of Tax Breaks Another thing you can do to get creative with your budgeting is to take advantage of tax breaks. Research all of the tax deductions and tax credits that you qualify for. When it’s time to do your taxes again, apply those deductions on your tax returns. It also helps to meet with a knowledgeable tax professional. 9. Find Free Versions of Your Favorite Subscriptions If those cool paid subscriptions are eating up your budget, then it’s time to cancel them and find free versions of those services. Instead of that pricey cable subscription, watch videos on Youtube. Instead of a subscription to your favorite online magazine, read those same stories on Google News. 10. Put All Extra Income Towards Savings Budget If you paid all of your monthly bills and you received extra income from side hustles, a bonus at work, or gift money for your birthday, take the extra money and put it towards your savings. When you have extra money in your savings account, then you’ll have more money to invest for long-term wealth. 11. Don’t Use Credit Cards for Emergencies It is common for many families to use credit cards for emergencies. But once you do this, debt adds up and your budget suffers. It is better to establish an emergency fund and allocate part of your budget towards long-term savings. This keeps you from relying too heavily on credit cards for unexpected situations. 12. Switch Banks For a long time I used Capital One as my main bank. However, I was getting tired of the high service charges that I was paying just to keep my money in the account. Then I researched other banks and discovered Chime. Chime doesn’t charge service fees and their services are excellent. This is another neat way to maintain a healthy budget each month. 13. Budget For Your Long-Term Goals When you’re budgeting, you want to think about how it will help you achieve your long-term goals. If one of your goals is to retire early, then you’ll need to increase your investment contributions every pay period. You’ll also need to add more money to your savings. If your goal is to start a home-based business, then you should research the supplies that you would need and create a separate budget for this. 14. Give Each Expense A Category This helps you organize your budget better and you’ll have a better idea of how much of your income is going towards your most important expenses. It also shows you the ways in which you’re wasting money the most. 15. Determine Wants vs Needs In our consumerist culture, we have forgotten how to distinguish between wants and needs. Before you go shopping or purchase a certain subscription, ask yourself if you need or want it. Maybe you need a new car but it’s not necessary to buy a BMW. Or you might need more clothes for work, but you will do just fine with outfits from the clearance aisle. When you add creativity, fun, and flexibility to your budget, you’re more motivated to stick to it.

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