How to Choose the Right Budget System - NerdWallet - Deepstash
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Figure out your needs

Figure out your needs

The best budget system depends on what you want to do, such as limiting spending, paying debt, or building savings.

Once you are clear about what you hope to accomplish, pick a budget option that meets those needs.


565 reads

The 50/30/20 budget system

This system splits your income into three categories:

  1. 50% goes to necessities
  2. 30% to wants
  3. 20% to savings and debt repayment

This method gives you room to pay down debt and save for future expenses.


408 reads

The envelope system

The envelope system

This method helps you curb your spending or stay out of debt when you don't want to track every purchase.

  1. Set a limit for each expense category, like groceries.
  2. Fill marked envelopes with the allotted cash and use only that money for purchases.
  3. When the envelope is empty, you can't spend more.

The Goodbudget app is based on the envelope system for those who don't want to work with envelopes.


300 reads

Pay yourself first

Pay yourself first

This method prioritises savings before immediate expenses.

Decide how much to put towards your monthly savings goals like retirement and an emergency fund, then use what is left.


369 reads

The zero-based budget

This method makes monitoring your spending clear.

Take your monthly income and deliberately use every dollar until zero dollars are left. Log every expense to ensure you're on budget. Budget apps such as YNAB and EveryDollar can be helpful.


362 reads

Compare manual and digital budgeting options

Personal finance software that lets you automate savings or update information on the go is helpful.

However, some people still prefer a hands-on approach, like pen and paper. Writing it down can help to feel more connected to your budget. It is also helpful if you don't feel comfortable linking your bank accounts to a budgeting service.


310 reads



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