Managing your money does not have to be stressful and time-consuming. You don't have to be a slave to a budget to win with your money.
This may be a shocker, but I'm actually not a fan of budgets. They kinda suck. How can you perfectly plan what you're going to spend in each area of your life every month?! Planning all that out just seems so daunting and time-consuming. then tracking every penny you spend? Like, come on. Ain't nobody got time for that!
There's enough going on in life that remembering to track every dollar you spend each and every day is just stressful and not worth it. There's a better way. Because yes, you still need a plan for your money. But it does not have to be restrictive or a nuisance. Planning where YOU want your money to go can be easy!
Instead of getting to the end of the month and wondering what happened to your good intention to save or invest some money, you can get to the end of the month and be proud of yourself for actually putting 10% of your income into savings. My grandma always says, "the highway to hell is paved with good intentions." So, don't end up in money hell!
Instead of budgeting, we can simply become conscious of our spending and get intentional about where it's going. The following steps may give you PTSD to the good ol' budgeting days but just bear with me here, I promise it's different.
Jot down your monthly income and subtract all your FIXED expenses. (The following pictures contain random and fictitious numbers.
Determine how much you want to save, invest, and/or give each month and deduct that from the remaining from step 1.
Pro tip: Automate anything that can be automated! It will make your life so much easier. & check out my post on How to Actually Save Money.
Take note of how much is "leftover" after all your fixed expenses, savings, investing, and giving are taken out. The rest is your money to spend on whatever you want. Keep in mind, things like gas and groceries will also be coming out of this bucket. So you will still need to be mindful of your spending.
A quick and easy weekly cash flow check-in will keep you on track. Log into your bank to see how much you currently have in your checking account and minus any upcoming bills or automated savings/investing that will come out before you get paid again. Whatever is remaining is what you have to spend.
The major point here is to NOT restrict yourself. It shouldn't feel like you're on a spending diet. Spend guilt-free on the things you actually want and need because you know that all your fixed expenses, saving, and investing are taken care of for the month. Don't get hung up on the small details and forget about tracking your $5 coffee trips. Having control over your money should not have control over you. Let me repeat that. You having control over your money should not mean it has control over you!
P.S. My 1:1 Money Coaching Program is currently LIVE! Check it out HERE.
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