3 Ways to Regulate Your Finances

Managing your finances is a tough task by nature, even downright overwhelming. Here are a few timeless tips you can use to better manage your money.

Managing your finances is a tough task by nature, but during a time of such uncertainty and economic instability, it can feel downright overwhelming. But whether or not the world is in a period of crisis, there are a few timeless tips you can use to better manage your money.

In this post, we’ll be sharing three ways you can regulate your finances—from tweaking your budget to looking for growth opportunities, we’re here to help make this daunting task a little more doable. 

1. Tailor your budget

One of the biggest personal finance myths is that your budget is a set-it and forget-it tool. The reality is your life is in a constant state of change. From increases in income to job loss and modified expenses, there are so many factors that change how much money you have in the bank. That’s why it’s so important to tweak and tailor your budget regularly. But how often do you need to take inventory, and what should you look at?

A good rule of thumb is to look at your budget if your income or expenses have significantly changed. If you got a promotion, received a pay cut, or moved to a pricier rental, it is time to take a look at your finances. But even if your finances haven’t changed much, you should still do a check-in every few months or so.

So, what should you look for when updating your budget? You can start by making a list of all your income and expenses. Do your best to estimate the variable ones that change month after month. Then, factor in any savings or investments, such as a 401(k) fund that you contribute to. Once you finish, you should have a good idea of what’s left in your budget. You might also know how much you’ll need to cut back to make ends meet or move the needle on your goals.

2. Shop around for the best of the best

Another way you can optimize your finances is by constantly looking out for the best deal. Whether you’re shopping for groceries or a home loan, it’s important to keep your financial interests at the forefront of your mind. Scoping the best deal on the shelves is relatively simple. just look for sale prices and coupons that can increase your savings! Financing, on the other hand, requires a bit more finesse. 

Here are a few key takeaways to help you out: 

  • Work on your credit score: A good credit score will work in your favor when negotiating loan terms. Lenders will be much more apt to give a low-interest rate to someone with a reliable financial history than someone on the opposite spectrum.
  • Compare loan types: Every lender and loan type has its unique requirements, benefits, and drawbacks, so it’s worth looking at all angles so that you can find the best solution for your needs. Reverse mortgage interest rates may be more or less affordable than a home equity loan depending on your situation, so homeowners should take the time to weigh the pros and cons of their options before moving forward.
  • Keep your payment history positive: There are many reasons why it’s important to maintain a good payment history. In essence, it’s tied to your credit. Late payments can incur late fees, and it will almost certainly affect your eligibility for lines of credit later on.  

3. Review extra expenses

There are several “big steps” you can take to get a better grip on your money management. There are also plenty of easy things you can do to cut back on costs that have a substantial impact on your finances. Since we’ve become so reliant on technology, many of our bills are processed automatically. Automatic billing is undeniably convenient, but it also creates a mental disconnect between ourselves and our bank accounts. You could be charged for subscriptions you no longer use or need anymore. By using a subscription cancellation tool, you can optimize your spending and make more room in your budget with minimal effort.

Regulating your finances can feel like a big to-do, but with these three tips, it’s much more manageable! 

Meet the Author

Holly is a Los Angeles-based health and wellness writer who helps readers make positive changes both physically and mentally. Her insightful content about healthy living, delicious recipes, and mental acuity is for every type of reader. Years of experience as a wellness guru and numerous dietitian courses have given Holly valuable insights and strategies that she can use to help boost the accuracy and relevance of your health-related blog.

Why You Should Use the Bullet Journal to Track Finances

There are many things you can do to manage your finances better. Here are some ways a bullet journal can be useful when it comes to your finances.

Many would agree that the hardest part of transitioning into adulthood is managing your own finances. This is especially true for anyone who has been used to the guidance and support of their parents when it comes to money matters.

When people start making and spending their own money, it’s easy for things to get overwhelming and get out of hand. They start signing up for subscriptions, paying bills, taking out and paying loans – the ins and outs, and the flow of money becomes unbearable, and then soon they’re playing catch-up.

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to manage your finances better, and having a bullet journal is one of them. The Balance notes that bullet journaling is effective in helping you become organized and productive. Aside from allowing you to express your creativity, it can also be easily made to fit your organizational style. Bullet journals help in making you more productive by allowing you to keep track of your goals, as well as inspired and reminded of your passion and dreams. Here are some ways in which bullet journaling can be useful for you when it comes to your finances:

Keeping Track Of Expenses

When you don’t keep tabs on where your money goes, it usually feels like money magically evaporates into thin air. However, when you do, you get an idea of where every single penny goes and are warier the next time you are spending. Through this practice, you can gain insights about where most of your money goes and decide whether that’s really where you want your hard-earned money to be spent. Forbes states that by keeping track of your expenses, you will be able to balance what you want and need right now and what you want and need in the future. You can also save yourself from the shock at the end of the month when your bank statement comes in because you are able to keep track of things in real-time.

Managing Work and Clients

If you are a freelancer or in a job that involves managing clients, bullet journaling can help. A bullet journal can help you keep track of every new and existing client and the work you have to do for them. Your bullet journal can serve as a personal record of your client’s every want and need. Then you can use the record to better your work and keep them satisfied. It can also help you stay on top of things by providing you with to-do lists and trackers for your weekly or monthly work goals. Through this, you’ll be able to anticipate how much your income for the month will be and adjust your budget accordingly. Your bullet journal can also help you stay on top of client payment schedules.

binder money

Paying Off Your Loans

When you take on a loan, no matter the size, the most important things you need to remember are your payment schedule and to make monthly payments on time. It’s easy to follow this religiously in the beginning, but it’s even easier to fall behind. After a while, you may even feel like your loan repayments are never going to end. Bullet journaling can help you keep track of how many payments you’ve made, and the payments you have left. This is especially useful, as LoanMart Ohio explains that some lenders reduce payment and interest rates automatically each month if you never miss a payment.

Planning Purchases and Finances

Having a bullet journal with functional finance spreads will enable you to see how much money comes in and how much you spend each month. You can track your finances whether it is on rent, groceries, utilities, debt payments, or other monetary obligations. With this, you’ll be able to plan future purchases such as gifts, replacement appliances, and the like. You can plan these purchases without needing to get a loan, sacrificing rent, or taking some money out of your savings. Bullet journaling can be a useful tool when saving up. It is useful because it can help you determine how much money to take out of your income every month. Additionally, it can help you determine how long you should do it to be able to have enough money for a single purchase and especially big ones.

money clipboard flower pencil stationery

Staying On Top of Bills

While traditional bullet journals are minimalist, you can release your creative juices. Additionally, you can dedicate a page or two to make a bills-tracking spread. This way, you can easily track whether or not you have paid each bill for each month, effectively keeping you from incurring late fees that could burden your income. If you refer to our post on the ‘22 Financial Tracking Layouts for your Bullet Journal’ you can find many layouts to inspire your own financial tracking spread. You can choose from having a unified monthly tracker that allows you to collate your bills or one that separates utilities, rent, and subscriptions.

Meet The Author

Annie Wu began bullet journaling in college to keep track of all her deadlines. She found that it was just too valuable a habit to kick. Since then, she’s used bullet journaling to keep up with work deadlines, bills, and important events. She works in a humdrum office job in the day and does some freelance writing on the side. She hopes to someday be able to leave her day job and instead write full-time.

Tailwind Visual Marketing Suite

Things You Need To Budget For At University

When you go to university, you will have a lot of things that you need to pay for. If you are not careful when you budget, then you may find that your finances get out of control. You may begin to struggle to afford everything. If you want to get some support with that, then you can find some useful tips right here.

Common Course Costs

Sure, your tuition fees will cover some of the costs that come with your course. However, there is a high chance that this won’t include everything. There are ways for you to save money here, and one of the main ways that you can cut back is by buying your books online. You can even buy them from a charity shop or second-hand store. If your course is very dependent on research, then this can cost you a small fortune. You would be surprised at how much of a difference it can make to your budget.

Transport

You always need to try and take into account any travel costs that you may experience when at university. This could include taking the bus to a class or even catching the train home to visit family. You also need to try and look into any alternative methods of transportation that could save you some money. For example, it may be cheaper for you to get the train when traveling to university because you can qualify for a student railcard. To take advantage of any additional savings, try and look into booking your tickets way in advance. If possible, you can also try and stay on campus as well. If you want some cheap accommodation, then look at the University of Southern California.

Top Things You Need to Remember to Budget for at University

Food

Students don’t always live off baked beans. It is more than possible for you to eat regularly and healthily even when you are on a budget. If you want to do this, then you need to avoid impulse buys whenever you are at the supermarket. Additionally, you need to make a shopping list whenever you go out as well. It is also a good idea for you to freeze meals in advance, or even cook bulk meals. When you do this, you never have to worry about heating a meal up, and you can also have cheaper meals when you are on the go.

Entertainment

It doesn’t matter if you are going to student nights, a fancy dress outing or even a quick coffee because it is always a good idea for you to try and cut down the cost of socializing. Give yourself a specific budget every single week to go out with. That way you won’t be inclined to go over, and you can also avoid any impulse sessions as well. If you want to socialize, but you don’t want to spend the money, then you have nothing to worry about. You can easily have a few drinks at your dorm or you can even go to the cinema. A lot of venues will offer you a discount if you are a student, which is fantastic if you want to cut down on cost.

Utilities

If you are in a residential hall then gas, electricity, and water will usually be included as part of your rent. This may not be the case if you are going into private housing. Of course, along with your rent, you also need to put some money aside every single month to cover your utility bills. Setting up regular payments on a direct debit is a fantastic way for you to see what is coming in and what is going out of your account.

Top Things You Need to Remember to Budget for at University

Clothing

It’s tempting to go straight to the shop when you get your loan so you can buy yourself a whole new wardrobe. This is great, but it is possible for you to save some money by checking out deals on websites. You might also be able to get a student discount too. The more you can do your research, the more your money will stretch, and this is always a good thing when you are going to university.

If you want to save money on washing your clothes, then try and do everyone’s load at the same time. This way you can all chip in for the washing powder, and you can even take it in turns too. You’d be surprised at how little changes like this can help you to cut down on your bills, and it can also help you to free up more time in the week.

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I may receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here.


How to Manage Your Money More Responsibly

Responsible money management is something that we allunderstand in theory but struggle to adopt in practice. The temptation ofluxury purchases and the stress of structuring personal finances in awell-calculated budget are just two reasons as to why financial stability ishard for many of us to maintain. Still, the advice in this post could makethings a little easier for you. Let’s talk about managing your money more responsibly.

Clean Up Your Monthly Bills

The first step to managing your money more responsibly is to clean up your monthly bills. Set yourself the 30-day rule with luxury purchases. If you still want the item then buy. If you don’t then you’ll have more money in your account at the end of the month. Still, luxury expenditures might not account for many of your monthly expenses. In fact, you might be quite frugal in that regard but still, have very little interms of disposable income. Maybe you should be looking at your necessary monthly bills instead. We’re talking about rent, food, gas, utilities, and other basic costs.

Before you start making compromises, however, simply think of cheap ways to get the same necessities. You could use coupons and vouchers to get the same weekly shop as usual for less money. You just need to do your research. You could also start growing your own fruit and veg, so those items don’t need to be bought from the grocery store. You might also want to look into Boost Mobile plans if your current phone provider is charging a lot. Prepaid phone plans can be cheaper and just as effective. If you want to clean up your monthly bills, then you just need to think of more cost-effective ways of getting the thingsyou need.

Start Thinking Of The Future

If you want to have a stronger financial situation, then you also need to think beyond your current costs. It’s important to cover your monthly bills, as discussed in the previous point, but you also need to think about future expenses. That’s why it’s wise to save up some money at home for unexpected events. Of course, an emergency fund is only the tip of the iceberg. You need a proper savings account that you regularly expand. Some future events are a little more certain.

For example, you’re probably going to retire one day, and your kids might want to go to college (or make a down payment on a car, ahouse, and so on). The point is that you should start thinking of savings for the things you can predict aboutthe future. An emergency fund is a safety net, but your savings account is your future bank account and investment pot. Start putting a fixed percentage ofyour monthly income into your savings account. With every passing year, you’ll have accumulated substantial savings for the future. Make sure you look into pension plans for your retirement to ensure that you’re getting as much money as possible for the future.

Thispost was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I may receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here

Budgeting Tools for Those Who Are Scared of Budgeting

No matter what stage of life you’re in, budgeting is something that is essential but sometimes daunting. If you ask me, I put off my budgeting for far too long. However, now that I budget regularly it has been such a positive addition to my life and has reduced my stress immensely. It is extremely helpful to have tools that you can utilize to help you track your finances and spending, especially if you are saving for something in particular or trying to pay off debt.

Different tools will work for different people, and it is important to find one that is easy to use which you know will last over time and not just for a season. Once budgeting becomes a regular part of your life, you’ll never look back! Here we will compile some of the best budgeting tools that can be utilized by anyone, no matter how experienced or inexperienced they are when it comes to budgeting.

Tool One: Budgeting Applications

Most of us spend a lot of time on our phone anyway, so why not download an app that can help us budget and keep our finances straight. There are many different budget apps on the market; it is just a matter of which is best for you. My personal favorite app for budgeting is HomeBudget. However Mint and Clarity are also top favorites in the app store. I’ll explain a little bit about each and why they might work for you!



HomeBudget

HomeBudget works for my husband and I as we link our bank accounts to the app as well as to both of our accounts. We are able to create a shared budget and then simply add in each expense into categories we’ve already created such as “gas” or “groceries.” There is a free version of this app, but we pay for the upgraded one to get all of the features. My personal favorite aspect is that you can roll over budget money to the following month, which helps me aspire to save for big purchases. It’s fun to watch your money grow as you start to spend on things you budget for rather than just impulse buys.

Simple Ways to Organize your Life to Make More Money

Mint.com

Mint refers to itself as the “free money manager and financial tracker app”. The makers behind TurboTax are responsible for this app, so you know that it will be effective and user-friendly. Mint allows you to track your bills. They also allow you to add in where you spent money and how much you are able to save. Mint is also linked to your bank accounts and allows you to keep track of their balances. Lastly, it allows you to see your net worth. This is a unique feature to help you see where you are with your finances.

Clarity Money

Clarity follows a similar model to many budget apps. They do this in the sense that it allows you to track and manage your expenses and begin to save. The app also has a very useful feature. This feature allows you to see your monthly subscriptions you may have forgotten about (hello, Netflix!) and cancel them if you realize you are not using them. There may be some subscriptions you’ve forgotten about, and Clarity helps you see this. You can also view your credit score on the app and find credit card offers that are based on your spending habits tracked in the app.

Tool Two: Excel Spreadsheets

For those that are computer savvy, this is a free way to track your finances and budget from your computer. There are many templates available online to download and modify (I personally looked at Pinterest and found tons for FREE!). Depending on where you are in life, your budget will be different from year to year. Excel will allow you to change these sections and dollar amounts as well as create charts to track your spending habits over time.

Budgeting Tools for Those Who Are Scared of Budgeting

Tool Three: Paper Budget Planners

Some people prefer to keep their budget planning “old-school” with the old pen and paper method. There are so many printable templates to print out and keep on the fridge, in your planner, or in a binder. This method will help you keep all your bills compiled in one tidy place. Paper budget planners can also be used if you have kids that have an allowance. The binder can help you teach them to budget in an easy and effective way.

Tool Four: Bullet Journaling

If you are a regular reader of Jihi Elephant, you know that bullet journaling is the organization method of choice! Check out the free resources in the Resource Library. In the library, you can get some ideas on how to incorporate finances and budgeting into your bullet journal. A “bills” page will allow you to keep track of bills you need to pay, and you can easily check them off as it is completed. Talk about easy – this method allows you to have your budgeting all in one place with your to-do lists, goals, and everything else!

Remember, it’s never too late to start where you are. Happy budgeting!

More on Budgeting

What Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type Means for Your Wallet

Whether you believe in personality typing or not, tests and types are used quite frequently to build teams at work, hire the perfect candidate, or even determine romantic connections on a first date! Myers-Briggs personality types are widely popular and assign types such as “ENFP” or “ISTJ” to generalize how a person like to interact with others and how they perceive the world around them. If you don’t know your MBTI, or Myers-Briggs Personality Type, you can take quick a version of the test here.

So how does personality have anything to do with how you manage money? Well, since our personality determines how we take in information, analyze risks, and make decisions, it has a lot to do with our relationship with our money! Knowing your money tendencies can help you make better financial decisions when it comes to spending, saving, and investing.

Whether you’re an impulse spender or a frugal saver, there are always ways to improve your money moves. Mint created this infographic to highlight each Myers-Briggs personality type and ways they can reach success both personally and financially.

This post was written in collaboration with Caroline Pitarque Johnson of Line Writing Co. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here



How to Make More Money and Organize Your Life

You’ve probably read the title of this post and thought, ‘but making money is anything but simple.’ This is the mindset that a lot of people tend to have, and it is the very reason those people don’t make more money. If you’re looking to increase your bank balance and have a little more money to spend on yourself, check out these simple ways to organize your life to make more money.

Change Your Mindset

The first and most important thing, which so many people fail at when it comes to making more money, is changing their mindset. They think it’s the least important because you’re not actively doing work to make more money. However, the reason we are not making the money we want to make is that we are letting our limiting beliefs around money run the show. It is your responsibility to change this mindset. Start working on them now, as they can take a while to change. Affirm the things you want to believe regularly, and do your best to stop negative thought patterns in their tracks. Watch all your ‘I am’ statements. If you constantly say, ‘I am broke’ you’re reinforcing that belief.

Are Your Finances Ruining Your Life?

Invest A Small Amount of Money Each Month

If you want to become wealthy, then you need to invest a small amount of money each month. Figuring out where to do that can be the hardest part, but some apps and advisors can help you if you just want to get started. You don’t even need a lot of money to begin! You’ve probably heard of cryptocurrency. Nobody expected it to blow up the way it has over the last few years! There are different platforms you can explore and learn more. Have a look at Coinbase vs. Kraken to see if investing in cryptocurrency is right for you. Another way to invest is through banks and investment firms. I use Aspiration for my investing. Aspiration have various investment accounts to choose from and the best part is that you can set it to automatically invest for you! I invest $10 a month and have already seen gains!

Utilize Passive Income

In an ideal world, we would not have to put in hours and hours of work make a lot of money. People are already doing this with passive income. You can make money passively in numerous ways, these ways could include:

  • Becoming an affiliate
  • Writing an eBook
  • Making YouTube videos
  • Drop shipping

These techniques may take a little work upfront, but soon enough, you won’t have to do much at all to make money.

Are Your Finances Ruining Your Life?

Rent Out Your Home

If you’re going away for a while, you could use a site like Airbnb to advertise your home and make some cash. Alternatively, you could consider renting a spare room, or even just your driveway space. Keep your mind open to all the ways you can utilize things you already have to make some extra cash!

Start A Side Hustle That You Enjoy

If you enjoy doing something, such as voice over work, tutoring, knitting blankets or creating websites, you could start a side hustle. This could be a great way to top up your income while enjoying yourself. I started my blog because of a love for writing, bullet journaling, and organization. With my blog following, I have been fortunate enough to open an Etsy shop where I sell products that I create which interest my readers. Check out my stationery and planners over at the Jihi Elephant shop!

hand painted, hand drawn, stationery

Sell Your Old Stuff

Now is the time of year everyone is cleaning out their closet and homes, getting some spring cleaning in. Go from room to room and try to sell all of the things you never use or the clothes that you never wear. Advertise your stuff on eBay, VarageSale, Vinted, or another selling platform. Facebook can even be used as a selling site these days! Do some research and see if your area has a Facebook page dedicated to selling stuff! If all else fails, try a garage or yard sale out!

Have more great ways to make money on the side? Let me know in the comments below and your ideas might be featured!

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here  

22 Financial Tracking Layouts for your Bullet Journal

Keeping track of your bills, payments, and money can be so incredibly difficult, particularly if you have more than one account. Thanks to my bullet journal I have been able to keep up with my bills, payments, subscriptions, loans, and more! Scroll down to find over 20 bullet journal layouts to help you with your finances! This post may contain affiliate links

Bills & Subscription Tracking

Bills and subscription tracking layouts are essential for me to track my payments. I can keep track of when they are due, how much I paid, when I paid, if it is autopay, etc. If you don’t use these layouts already, I highly recommend bill or subscription tracking layouts!

Expenses

I love this incredibly minimal expense or bill tracking layout. I created this one for a client, but I almost wish I used it!

bills, subscriptions, tracking, bullet journal, money, finances

Bill Tracking & Subscriptions

This is my current bills tracking layout keeping bills on one side for 12 months and subscriptions on the other, again for 12 months. This layout uses Tombow Dual Brush pens.

debt, finances, bullet journal, bills, tracking, loan payments

Bill Tracking & Loan Payments

This one includes bills, subscriptions, and loans. The bills and subscriptions are separated by color and utilize Tombow Dual Brush pens. This tracker lasts 5 months.

Blue Bill Tracking

This layout tracks 12 months and utilizes a light watercolor blue. I’ve also added cute little corgis and kept it to bills only.

Bright Blue Bill Tracking

Similar to the previous layout, this one uses Tombow Dual Brush pens instead of watercolor and takes up more space on the page.

Pastel Bills & Subscriptions

This one includes over 12 months of payments, uses many pastel watercolors, and combines bills and subscriptions

Subscriptions

This layout is for subscriptions only, lasting 12 months and utilizes Tombow Dual Brush pens.

Bill Tracking & Subscriptions

These two are very similar in that they both track bills and subscriptions on two pages for 12 months. They both also utilize Arteza watercolor brush pen coloring.

Bills & Subscriptions

This financial tracking layout is a minimal layout with a simple title, a quote, and 6 columns.

2018 Bills

This layout was created by @CraftyEnginerd and features monthly bills, Bi-monthly bills, quarterly and semi-annual bills. This is a beautiful black and white layout with several visual tracking aspects.

Utility Bills Tracking

I love this bullet journal bill tracking layout found on Pinterest. I am unable to find it’s creator to give them credit, but I love the imagery and visual tracking aspects of it!

Bills & Textbooks

This final bill tracking layout was the very first one I used. I would use it monthly to track my bill payments, and when necessary, my textbook purchases.

Financial Savings Bullet Journal Layouts

Saving is a great financial habit to build! If you don’t already track your savings, I recommend one of these bullet journal layouts to help you out!

Financial Goals

This first layout created by @honeyrozes uses bars to track saving and other financial goals. I love the simple and clean look of this layout.

Money Saving Plan

How cute is this layout by Life’s Carousel? I love the piggy bank an the way she fills in the bank with different shades of green!

Savings Monthly Tracking

Check out this “savings jar” bullet journal tracker I created for a client? I love that it tracks your saving over time and allows you to set a monthly goal! Even better, this is an A6 layout!

Home Fund

This home fund by Life’s Carousel is also a fantastic savings tracker! I love that it has mini goals which look like bricks, so as you reach your goal, it appears as if you are building a wall!

Loan and Credit Pay-Off Layouts

These layouts help you to pay off your loans and credit cards!

debt, finances, bullet journal, bills, tracking, loan payments

Loan Payments

I already briefly mentioned this layout, but it helps me to track how much of each of my loans I have already paid off!

Credit Card Tracking

I love this layout created by the Petite Planner because of the graph! I am a huge fan of graphs because they really give you a visual of your spending and saving!

Bullet Journal Spending Logs & Catch-All Layouts

Spending Log & Budgeting

I created this layout for a client, and I love the minimalistic design! This layout tracks spending and other regular spending categories that might now qualify as bills. Additionally, it provides a place to track your saving!

Blog Finances

This layout is one of my first financial tracking layouts. I never kept up with this one, but a simple spending log is always a simple option.

December Spending

Love this spending love by Chasing a Better Life that incorporates spending, bills, income, and debt payoff!

January Budget

This layout is an elegant and compact catch-all finances layout! It tracks income, spending, saving, and debts!

If you love these layouts and want more bullet journaling ideas check out my own plan-with-me posts and my Instagram where I post all my layouts!

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What is the Minimalist 50:20:30 Budget System (and how to use it)

The 50:20:30 Budget is gaining popularity, particularly among minimalist populations. This budget helps you break down your goal spending into 3 categories making it easier to keep to your budget than a budget which is broken down into 5 or more groups. Keep reading to learn more about the 50:20:30 budget and how to use it!

This post may contain affiliate links

What is the 50:20:30 Budget?

The 50:20:30 budget is a simplified budget utilizing 3 categories: essentials, savings, and personal. I have been using this strategy on and off since I graduated high school and it has been the most effective budget strategy I have used yet! It is not only easy to use and simple but encompasses all possible spending without much categorical overlap to worry about. There are no excuses.

50 | Essential Spending

The first rule or spending category is essential spending. This category refers to your bills and any other expenditures that cannot be avoided and occurs regularly. This might include topics such as housing, utilities, groceries, transportation, insurance, electricity, internet, phone bill, etc. These bills do not include pleasure subscriptions, or anything extravagant and unnecessary. Remember that your essential spending is half of your income, so spend it wisely!

20 | Savings

The second budget rule is that 20% of your income is to be saved. This might include a savings account, emergency fund, retirement fund, or it might go toward paying off debt. Building up a savings is incredibly essential in case of emergencies, debt issues, retirement, etc. I can personally attest that my savings have saved me, financially, on several occasions! If you aren’t currently saving money regularly, open a savings account and get started today!

30 | Personal Spending

The final rule of 50:20:30 budgeting is that you get to spend 30% on anything else. This includes all recreational or entertainment purchases. This money can be set aside to go on vacation; it can also include clothing, hobbies, home decorating, gym membership, recreational, and entertainment expenditures. Here is where you can go crazy (so long as you remain within your budget) because this category is all you. Whatever your heart desires, this is the part of your budget you utilize to get it. Be responsible, but so long as you remain within 30%, you’re golden!

piggy bank

How do I use the 50:20:30 Budget?

What makes the 50:20:30 budget so successful is the fact that it is minimal and simple. It’s easy to remember the rules, and it’s easier to keep track of, regardless of how you track your spending. My favorite way to track my spending is through Mint. Mint connects to all of my accounts, allows me to set my budget, savings goals, and even pay my bills. I highly recommend checking out Mint, its free!

Another great way to use this budget is to keep an excel spreadsheet of your spending or keep a written record in your planner or journal. Just knowing what the budget is, is not enough, you must now track your spending and be sure to adhere to the budgeting rules.

Get started on your budget, I’d love to hear how well it works for you!

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