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No matter how little or how much money you earn, creating a monthly budget is one of the most important aspects of managing your finances. What gets measured gets managed.
Having a budget doesn't stop you from spending money the way you want it to, but works like a partner to track your spending and allocating resources to help you reach your financial goals.
The Envelope system is a way to track your variable expenses like food, entertainment, and drinks.
This method, preferably used weekly, allocates a certain amount in each category in labeled envelopes (food, drinks, movies, etc.). Once the envelope is empty, you are done spending in that category.
The principles that make a good budget, something you can stick to:
Write it down when you’ve gone over your budget. The negativity you feel will help prevent you from overspending more or doing it again. Just think of this step as damage control.
If you try to deprive yourself too much, you’ll binge later and throw all your hard work out the window.
A spending binge can set you back far more than treating yourself occasionally, so go for the occasional minor splurge. Just keep your treats within your spending limits and you’ll be fine.
Typical regular budgeting methods assume that just by allotting limited money to a particular expense type (like groceries) is enough for us to spend less and balance our budget instantly.
This suddenly asks us to curb our lifestyle by focusing on everything at once, instead of a step-by-step approach. We normally fail at this 'ideal' method and need a realistic way to deal with our budget.
A Reverse Budget looks at your current lifestyle and makes slow improvements over time until things are sufficiently better.
We look at how much we are spending eating out, commuting and daily indulgences and see the past quarter trends using your credit card and bank account spending.
When you look at our past spending patterns and trends, you can select one or two categories to focus and use one of these two approaches: