Everywhere we turn, there is a new method to budgeting that always seems like the next best thing. However, depending on your situation, not every method can work for you. Also, there's rarely ever just one technique that'll solve all of your money problems. What proves to work the best is practicing a combination of things along with consistency. No matter how much money you have, it is possible to be in a good space money-wise even if you feel like you're not working with much.
It doesn't matter if you're working with $100 or $1,000 a week, make it stretch! Depending on when your next pay day is, budget for the amount of days until then. If that's seven days from now, divide what you have by seven and that will be your daily budget. This is what you call classic budgeting - Taking what you have left after paying all of the bills and adjusting the rest of your week around that.
It's one thing to figure out your daily budget but staying consistent is another battle. The worst thing to do is blow through all of the money you had when payday is still days away. Half of the battle is making a conscious choice to be responsible with your funds, and that looks like restraining from frivolous spending. If your daily budget is around $30 a day, it makes sense to put that towards ingredients for a home cooked meal as opposed to takeout. A meal made from scratch can last you a lot longer than takeout that'll probably be gone in one night. We're all human however, and some days we will definitely spend more than on other days. The key is to keep a balance by making up for overspending the next day.
A way to reduce the stress of paying bills and budgeting is by opening two separate checking accounts in addition to your savings. Handling all of your affairs with one checking account tends to get confusing. Some bills don't post until days after you pay them which leaves you playing a guessing game with how much you have left to spend. With two checking accounts, one can be dedicated to your spending while the other is dedicated to paying your bills. That way you'll be able to set up your payments on one account while being able to spend freely knowing exactly what you have left in the other.
Start with one technique and eventually try a combination of good money habits. Whatever it is that you do, make sure that you're sticking to it. It pays off in the end to have the security of knowing that you're covered until payday. You'll find yourself using credit cards less often to make up for deficits. There's a peace of mind that comes along with consistently having money to work with instead of being on your last dollar most of the time. Plus, don't forget to save!
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