How To Budget Without Actually Sticking To A Budget
Seems like it’s that time of year when everyone’s thinking about their spending. Could it be that the disturbing headlines about Canadians and their growing indebtedness are starting to sink in? Maybe living paycheque to paycheque is no longer fun or feasible?
Whatever the reason, I’m thrilled that people are seeing the light and taking action.
It’s ALWAYS the right time to re-think your spending and savings patterns; needs vs. wants, good habits vs. bad, short term plans vs. longer term ones. The list could go on. The best time to make a change is before you and your family get into a bind.
After reading this excellent post over at Mom And Dad Money, I realized that Matt Becker’s approach to spending is similar to what my husband and I have done for years (it works for us too!).
I’ve never liked worrying about each penny I spend so these habits make perfect cents 😊. I also love the flexibility to “live in the moment”. Therefore, having a cushion for things like entertainment or unpredictable expenses allows me to seize opportunities if they come my way (or cut back when necessary).
Here’s a quick summary of how I manage my spending and savings;
1. Take care of savings right off the top each month (BEFORE I have a chance to spend them)
2. Save monthly for irregular (or larger) expenses
3. Review overall spending each month to keep it on track (only dive into the details, when/if necessary)
4. Review/update my annual spending plan (when/if needed). It MUST be realistic. I WILL NOT spend more than plan (you can tell I’m an accountant).
There is no “right” way to manage your spending. Don’t change what’s already working for you. If your own spending plan could use a little makeover, why not give some of these tips a try?
It’s not your salary that makes you rich, it’s your spending habits … Charles A. Jaffe
Proud founder of this blog Let’s Talk About Money, Patricia Gass, CPA, CA, provides personal finance coaching and education to improve your money skills. Follow her on linkedin, twitter or pinterest
Photo courtesy of money calendar.com.au