You love budgets, right? I didn’t think so!
According to Dictionary.com, the definition of a budget is:
“An estimate, often itemized, of expected income and expense for a given period in the future.”
You’re in your 20s and you’re here reading a site all about personal finance. The one question on your mind likely is:
Do I have to create a monthly budget?
Most personal finance books and blogs suggest that you setup some sort of strict monthly budget, where you track every single expense and know where all of your money goes. You’re just supposed to have a budget. Not having a budget is like eating carbs before bed in the fitness community. Everyone needs a budget and it’s the solution to all financial problems.
Do you need to have a monthly budget in order to save money?
What’s my answer? Are you waiting in suspense for my response?
Do you need to create a detailed monthly budget?
Nope. You don’t need to worry about creating a monthly budget at all if you don’t want to. You don’t have to track all of your expenses just to save some money.
I want to make a quick confession actually. I hate budgets. I hate keeping track of all of my expenses. I’m not good at it. It’s the equivalent of counting calories.
I want to help my students save real money and not lose their minds from trying to follow money-rules that just don’t work. You don’t need to keep meticulous notes when it comes to your budget and finances.
That leads to the ultra-important question…
How will I ever save money?
If you want to figure out how to budget your money, you don’t have to track every single expense or worry about every penny.
I’ll give you my secret formula for saving money that I used to save $25,000.
- Pay yourself first. The absolute best way to save money in your 20s is to pay yourself first. You simply go to your employer or the bank and tell them to do mandatory deductions on all of your paychecks. You pick an amount that you’re comfortable with (you can start at $50), set it and forget it.
- Create sub-accounts. I love ING Direct because you can create as many accounts as you want. You can create a new account where you save your money and you can’t even access it.
- Keep you expenses low. I learned the hard way early on that making lots of money is useless if you can’t save any of it. I found it to be critical to learn how to keep your expenses low so that you can keep more money in your pocket.
That’s all you need to do if you want to save more money than ever before. We’ll go into further detail tomorrow. Stay tuned!
Now I want to hear from you guys: how do you budget your money? What works for you?