The internet is flooded with people trying to teach you all of the right ways to budget as a financial blogger, I have people constantly requesting for my best budgeting tips. For the longest time, I was too afraid to tell them I don’t actually like budgeting. To take it a step further, I spend less than an hour a month managing my budget! Even still, I am growing wealth and enjoying my life completely. No more paycheck to paycheck stress. What’s the secret? Budgeting is a waste of time. Let me break it down.
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The problem with budgeting
Now there are great debates out there. You might here financial gurus claim they thinking budgeting is a waste of time, but then they explain a new, great way to budget.
So let me just set the record straight right away.
Knowing where your money is going is a must. Constantly fixating on your money is life draining and a waste of time.
Then I decided that I was doing something wrong because living on a budget was causing way too much stress.
My money should be working for me…not the other way around.
The more I tried to get control of my money, the less I seemed to have. That’s when I created The Bucket List Budget spending plan method of budgeting.
The Bucket List Budget method
Instead of focusing on the rules of budgeting, or obsessing over money, The Bucket List Budget encourages you to decide what you want in your life. Do you want to travel, run a marathon, have a pool?
By deciding on your top life priorities, you are better able to create a spending plan that works for you! Learn more about The Bucket List Budget.
Budgeting mistakes people make
I got budgeting wrong for way too long and there’s a good chance you’ve been getting it wrong too.
Want to learn how to create a budget that works for you and your lifestyle, check out The Bucket List Budget course that is designed to help you do exactly that.
Focus on small wins
It’s true, small purchases under $5 can break your budget when you take the time to add them up. But these small budget changes shouldn’t be the main focus of your spending.
If you want to see big money in your future, it’s time to start focusing on BIG wins.
Millionaires don’t clip coupons. They aren’t living with their lights on trying to save money on their bills. I mean, some of them might be, but for the vast majority of millionaires, it’s the big wins that bring in the big bucks. 14% of America’s Millionaires Are Teachers
Look only at the numbers
Having a good grasp on numbers and budgeting percentages is a great way to know how to better divide up your paycheck. However, it can be too easy to focus only on numbers.
It’s important to remember that those numbers are actually your life. A top recommendation that I have for new budgeters is to start out by making a list of the goals you have for your life and then build your budget around your goals.
Create budgets too restricting to stick to
When you are working toward a debt payoff goal or a savings goal, it can be so easy to get extra frugal trying to accomplish those goals faster. Unfortunately what that can do is cause people to bail on their budgets and give up altogether.
Just like living on too strict of a diet, too strict of a budget can lead to failure. It’s important to allow for generous fun spending in your budget so you don’t feel so restricted that you give up. Why Most Budgets Fail
How much time should you spend budgeting each month?
A lot of times it seems like people are budgeting 24/7, constantly obsessing over their spending habits. In reality, a good budgeting strategy should be mostly automatic and something you only have to look at once a week.
I cover automating your savings and budget in The Bucket List Budget so you can spend less time calculating the numbers and spend more time living your life.
New approach to budgeting
If you are feeling stuck in a budget or you keep failing at it, try these 3 steps to get your budget on the right track.
Write out your goals
If you have been wanting to travel more but don’t have the finances to make it happen, it’s time to tweak your budget!
Don’t let your whole life go by before you realize that you were spending all of your money on things that didn’t actually enrich your life. Start planning your bucket list.
Eliminate fixed expenses
The first place to look when you’re trying to eliminate wasted spending is at your fixed expenses. These are the areas of your budget that you pay every month. For us, this meant downsizing our home in order to downsize our mortgage.
You could also sell a car to ditch the expensive payment, cut your grocery bill or eliminate other unnecessary expenses like cable or high-priced cell phones. Get a phone plan for as little as $10!
Once you have set intentions for your spending and then eliminated wasteful expenses, get a solid game plan in place for saving automatically each month.
Make sure you have a retirement fund, emergency fund, and FUN spending all planned into your budget.
The second you have automatic savings set up is the second you can breathe a little easier and spend a little more care-free. (After paying your bills, of course)!
The silent paycheck killer
When you’ve sett up a budget that is too strict or you don’t have a solid emergency fund in place, chances are you’re more likely to turn to things like credit cards or other types of debt.
Having monthly debt payments can truly suck the life right out of your paycheck and your lively-hood. Before you start beefing up your savings beyond $1,000, the best move you can make is to pay off your debt as fast as you can.
The best part is, you can do this automatically as well so every month you are paying off debt without having to constantly stress over numbers.