You don’t need a budget … you need

fiscal discipline.

Tell someone they need to budget and it’s a negative. My spending is limited, I need to monitor every penny I spend, it’s stressful. It just isn’t fun.

Many financial gurus and especially all those expert bloggers say a budget is essential. You can’t know how much to save without a budget.

I say balderdash! Needs, wants, savings? Here’s is the real deal.

You save automatically, at least 15% of gross income. That means the saving occurs before you get your hands on the money. The place to start is any plan where you get an employer match if available. Otherwise set up auto transfers or direct deposit.

Once you set up auto saving you spend the balance any way you want. Oh yes, it also means there are no credit card balances carried from one month to the next, ever, because if there are, are you are living above your means.

No need for this:

Start by making a list of all of the money that you have coming in and all of your expenses. To help you assess your current expenses and spending habits, look through past bank and credit card statements to see where your money has been going. This will help you to see the areas where you may be able to cut back.

Choose the right budgeting method Once you know your current position and your spending habits, create a physical or digital copy of a budget for your next paycheck. You can make this easier by choosing the best budgeting method that you can stick with. For instance, some find the 50/30/20 budgeting method helps them save more money.

This method has you allocate your income into percentages across your expenses, spending money, and savings. So, 50% goes to your needs such as housing, food, etc., 30% goes to your wants, and 20% goes towards your savings!

Source: Tired Of Being Broke? 7 Steps To Change Your Situation!

7 comments

  1. Higher Inflation Is Here to Stay for Years, Economists Forecast
    “That would mean an average annual increase of 2.58% from 2021 through 2023, putting inflation at levels last seen in 1993.”*

    WSJ Jul 11, 2021

    Also expecting GDP to increase and unemployment to decrease. Supply chain? Covid?

    *When you (or ” they”) say inflation will increase, that doesn’t mean it will increase above the present 5.9 percent. Not that that couldn’t happen, either.

    On the bright side, inflation increase could increase bond rates, which will increase the funding level of public and private pension funds.

    There will be winners and losers, as always.

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  2. I do agree that strict budgeting is a turn off and with good mental accounting can be avoided. The problem some folks have is they are in too deep on monthly payments without any thought and can’t save anything. If those same folks had had a written budget or mental budget ahead of time the morass of debt could have been avoided.

    Most of my life I’ve been fortunate enough to save and spend in line with income without a written directive.

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    1. “If those same folks had had a written budget or mental budget ahead of time the morass of debt could have been avoided.”

      Many of us had a negative mental budget. “Maybe I can start saving once I get this car paid off.” Once, in 1983, I was all caught up (“caught up”, not paid off) on my bills and loans, and managed to save $400. The next week, the car broke down and needed $500 repairs. Kids still gotta eat.*

      Long before that, when Dad was raising 5 kids alone, he got a loan for Christmas. It was a two year loan. And we were actually better off than a lot of our friends.

      *Once the last daughter moved out, thirty years ago, we managed to actually start saving, and it pays off now. Working on a humble estate for the progeny, or possibly a nestegg for long term care.

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  3. I once again must respectfully say that budgeting works. I’ll agree that you can put 10%-15% aside up front with every paycheck. But here is were we differ. I say that you need to know how much your expenses are for your”needs”, gas money, food, tolls, utilities, property taxes, insurance, mortgage, car loans, etc. before you spend money on wants.
    My first job out of high school, I would cash check, put gas in my truck, put money aside for my loan and insurance, money aside for food, then I could go out that weekend. If I drank it all on a Friday night I was done for the rest of the week.
    Now that I am on a monthly pension check, I can’t go to the casino on the 1st of the month unless I know how much I need to put aside. (I don’t go the casinos, I rather keep my money).

    I do use computer software to track my expenses and because it is software it does track it to the penny. I don’t find that it is a problem or time consuming at all. But I also have a mental model of my budget too with so many more “line items ” than when I was a teenager. Everything that I can buy is on a credit card ( for the cash back) and I track that so that I can pay it off every month.
    In these inflationary times my budget or my money allocations have had to be adjusted. We were seeing the pain at checkout of the raising prices, but with my software I saw exactly where I needed to adjust. I didn’t need the government to tell us months later that inflation is 6.2%. I already knew that and with gas in my area up 49% over last year, everything else will follow and be much higher than 6%.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “…gas in my area up 49% over last year, everything else will follow and be much higher than 6%.”

      Gas prices are extremely volatile and don’t necessarily predict higher inflation. In 2008, gas in California was over $4. The next year it was about half that. We don’t want that kind of “fix” again.

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      1. It’s true that gas can be up and down in price almost daily and in the past much of the larger fluctuation was due to geopolitical concerns and OPEC specifically.

        Now there is a rush to “green” and the price of oil is being deliberately raised. This time it will bring inflation.

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      2. Gas prices do fluctuate. However between the rise in fuel prices including diesel fuel, the lack of truck drivers, global shipping cost increases, rising wages, price will not being coming back down to pre-covid levels.

        I bought an overcoat yesterday. I asked the lady when they go on sale. She told me that normally at the end of the year but that will not happen this year. A shipping container used to cost them $8,000. The costs have gone up three times this year to $20,000. I don’t know what that works out in a per garment costs, but when those new coats arrive from overseas, they will cost more. I’ll be happy if they stay in business after being forced to be close for Covid.

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