9 budgeting tips for lazy people

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When it comes to budgeting, you may be feeling a bit lost. Saving is a good habit that enables you to create a good balance. Managing money can bring you certain benefits, too.

Anyone can save money, even if you are lazy at budgeting.

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It would help if you had some saving goals to determine how to best budget for your future. You have to ask yourself a few questions, like what are your needs and wants, if you have any debt to pay off and if you should consolidate your debt into a single payment. Debt consolidation is a good idea for you if you get a lower interest rate. It can assist you in minimizing your total debt and rearranging it to enable you to pay it off faster.

The Best 9 Budgeting Tips for Lazy People

Don’t leave this task for tomorrow! Make your budget plan today with the help of these tips.

1. Prepare a List of Payments

Creating lists makes it easy to achieve your target. First, you need to list all your compulsory payments, including rent, conveyance, insurance, child care, groceries and so on. Don’t forget to list out all your debt payments. Then, think about your financial priorities and what payments are mandatory. Next, check out where you can cut down some expenses to save some money.

If you have irregular income, you can list all your monthly income amounts so you can calculate the average.

2. Purchase Items on Sale

Here is another good idea for budgeting: Purchase items on sale to get a discount. You can buy something at a discount during a special event or season sale and only buy at full price if you have to. You can also check out garage sales or online where you can usually find some good quality second-hand items.

If you buy the essential and most required things on sale, you can save quite a bit!

3. Get Rid of Your Credit Cards

Don’t spend your hard-earned money thoughtlessly or it will hurt you in the long run. If you have no control over your spending, stop using a credit card and debit card, and instead only use cash. Using cash will enable you to save money in the end, because once the cash is gone, you can no longer spend it.

A credit card, on the other hand, could give you unlimited purchasing power, which usually means we buy more than we should. Moreover, you can freeze your credit card to prevent yourself from drowning in more debt.

4. Pay Off Your Debt

Another tip to save money for lazy people is to pay off debt. Debt is one of the most significant reasons that people can’t save money. You should pay off your highest debt first, like personal loans and credit cards. 

It is more desirable to draw up a repayment plan and stick to the program by following it properly. Drawing up a repayment plan can help ensure you stick to the program. To make sure you don’t add to your debt, keep analyzing your spending habits and control them if you are overspending.

5. Use Homemade Food for Lunch

It’s a much better idea to make a homemade lunch and coffee than it is to go to a restaurant and coffee shop each workday. Then, you can put the money you saved from bringing food from home into a savings account or use it to pay off some of your debt faster!

As another bonus, if you are always short of time in the mornings, you can pre-pack your meal for the next day. This way, you get a healthier lunch and spend less.

6. Track Your Spending

If you haven’t set out a budget, you won’t have a clear idea of how much you spend each month. It is crucial to analyze where your hard-earned money is going. You can prepare a list of the amount you pay each month to better understand what is costing you the most and how you can control it.

Tracking your overall expenses can help you achieve your target by helping you set a reasonable budgeting plan that will bring actual results at the end of the month.

7. Use a Budgeting App

If you want to save yourself from the hassle of maintaining a record of your spending, an app could help you out. In fact, there are many budgeting apps that you can use for free. You only need to download the software with a simple click, and you can start using the budget planning sheets straight away.

These apps connect to your online banking accounts and track your overall spending. A smart budgeting app can save you time in the long run. Some popular ones include Mint, PocketGuard, Personal Capital and Zeta.

8. Set Aside Time for Your Budget

Budgeting at a high level is not something that you can do overnight. It requires time and consistent effort to make a budgeting habit. But you don’t have to spend hours looking over your finances to regulate them each month.

Instead, you can take a few minutes to have a look at your bank accounts and check your credit card statements. Going through your regular spending habits can help you maintain your financial health.

9. Get Deals on your Bills

Do you still use conventional ways to pay your bills? Well, you might consider switching to other payment options. There are specific sites like BillShark that look after your accounts, bills and available deals, as well as assist you with switching to cheaper companies. It stays up-to-date on current costs and is completely free of charge.

Final Thoughts

If you follow the above tips, you can save money even if you are lazy. The directions are simple to adopt and can make you strong financially. It is not necessary that you take up all budgeting habits at once; you can implement them gradually.

To save the most money, start incorporating at least a few of these tips today; don’t leave it for tomorrow!

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originally appeared on 
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The 5 best budgeting systems for every income

The 5 best budgeting systems for every income

More Americans are realizing that budgeting is an essential tool to reach any financial goal. Eighty percent of Americans now keep a budget, and 97% of Americans think everyone needs a budget, according to a recent CFP Board survey. For those who don’t budget, the top-cited reason is not having enough income. But if you’re a low-income earner, it’s even more important to actively learn how to manage your money because you have less discretionary income to put toward a financial emergency.

About 25% of survey respondents also said budgeting was too time-consuming, and 21% said that budgeting brought on anxiety. But we’re here to tell you that budgeting and money management don’t have to be a headache. And the financial benefits are universal: More control, greater resiliency, better spending habits — and most likely, a boost to your credit score. Here’s how to save money without the headache.  

Related: Recession checklist: 7 things you need to survive an economic downturn

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Before you even start establishing a budget, you’ll need to collect some basic information. That includes adding up your family’s monthly income from various sources, including employment, side hustles, passive income, investment income and gifts. Your total take-home pay will be the starting point from which you subtract your various expenses.

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You probably have a variety of bills you can expect monthly. These include living expenses like utility bills, rent or a mortgage, phone bills and cable/streaming services. You should also list any monthly debt payments you’ll need to make, including student loans and personal loans. If you’re carrying a credit card balance, you should decide on a monthly amount to put toward paying down your credit card debt, in addition to the minimum payment owed.

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Down the road, you’ll want to set spending limits for expenses that can vary. A good place to start is to track what you’re already spending and make adjustments from there. Get into the practice of logging your expenses in each category. You can do this manually with pen and paper, set up a spreadsheet, or use a budgeting app (we’ll discuss these in greater detail later on).

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There are a variety of ways to go about building a budget, and some are more stringent or complex than others. You should decide how much time you can devote to budgeting each month, and select a plan you know you can be successful with.

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Zero-based budgeting involves finding a purpose for every dollar you earn. You start by subtracting your necessary expenses from your income. That includes budgeted amounts for things like groceries as well as your car payment, rent/mortgage and utilities.

Next, move onto your financial goals. These might include saving for retirement, getting out of debt, or funding a major purchase. With zero-based budgeting, you’ll allocate some money to each of these goals.

Everything left can be used for the things you enjoy but don’t necessarily need. Essentially, this is your budget for dining out, entertainment and shopping.

Zero-based budgeting ensures you never overspend, but it also requires frequent maintenance. If you need to overspend in one category because of an unexpected expense one month, the rest of your budget needs to be adjusted, unless you can use leftover income to cover it.

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The 50/30/20 budget requires you to allocate money to just three separate categories, like so:

  • 50% of your income for necessities
  • 30% of your income for discretionary spending
  • 20% of your income for saving

Although this is super simple, it will only work if 50% of your income will cover your essential bills. If it doesn’t, you may have to make your own version of the 50/30/20 budget. For example, you might decide that only 15% of your income should be reserved for nonessentials, like dining out. You may also want to consider adding a category for charitable giving. You’ll want to keep the 20% savings goal relatively fixed, however. This may mean you’ll have to find some ways to trim your budget.

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The 80/20 budget is an even simpler version of the 50/30/20 budget. It involves putting 20% of your income into savings (emergency fund, retirement account, future purchase goals, etc.) and spending the other 80% on everything else.

This budget works well with the pay-yourself-first rule of budgeting that many financial planners recommend. Every time you receive a paycheck, put 20% of it into savings. You’ll be able to spend only what’s leftover. It can also help to automate your savings through automatic contributions to your retirement account and automatic deposits into a high-yield savings account.

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Envelope budgeting requires the most effort but gives you the greatest level of control over where your money goes. If you tend to live paycheck to paycheck or spend more than you earn, you could benefit from this type of money management.

Envelope budgeting is traditionally a cash-based system. It’s similar to the zero-based budget but involves setting spending caps for every category, even discretionary spending categories. You start by adding up your income and subtracting any fixed monthly bills. If you have quarterly or annual bills, don’t forget to include the monthly amount for these. You’ll also choose an amount to save each month and subtract that. All the cash that’s leftover should be divided into envelopes labeled with various spending categories, such as:

  • Groceries
  • Clothing
  • Household items
  • Personal care items
  • Dining out
  • Entertainment
  • Gas
  • Pets
  • Fitness expenses
  • Giving to charity
  • Miscellaneous

You should track your spending and keep a record inside the envelope. When the money’s gone, you can no longer spend in that category. If you have money leftover in any of your envelopes at the end of the month, deposit it into savings or add it to one of next month’s envelopes.

If this sounds like a great way to stay on track, but you don’t want to use cash, you can use a budgeting app that works similarly. That way, you can still take advantage of credit card rewards. You’ll just need to hold yourself accountable for sticking to your spending caps in each category.

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This monthly budget is ideal for someone who wants to join the FIRE movement and retire early, someone who has lost a job and needs to temporarily adopt a frugal lifestyle, or someone who is drowning in debt.

It’s very simple: you only buy absolute necessities. You pay your rent/mortgage, utility bills, car payment, health insurance, and other expenses you can’t avoid. You buy only the groceries, household items and personal care items you can’t live without. And anything leftover goes to savings and paying off debt. This is also sometimes called a spending freeze, and it can be helpful during times of financial hardship or while trying to achieve a lofty financial goal.

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Depending on your financial situation, a budgeting app could be worth considering. When used wisely, budget apps can help you avoid overspending. And the best part? You can track spending right from your smartphone, which makes these solutions more convenient than traditional budgeting software. Here are five great options for your personal budget.

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Mint is a personal finance app that securely connects to your credit card and debit card accounts so you can get a comprehensive, real-time overview of your spending. You can even track your investments and outstanding loans, so you can tell at a glance if you’re above or below water. It also automatically tracks your spending by category to help you identify where your money is going. There’s a web version, and it’s also available for iOS and Android. Mint is free to use.

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YNAB combines the concepts of zero-based budgeting and envelope budgeting with a digital budgeting platform that’s available for web, iPhone, Android, iPad, Apple Watch and Alexa. You manage cash flow by assigning every dollar you get to a spending category, and it’s easy to make adjustments as you go. It also makes it easy to share your budget with your family. YNAB costs $11.99 per month or $84 per year, but you can try it free for 34 days, and the average user that is new to budgeting saves $200 in the first month.

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Goodbudget is a spending tracker based on the envelope system. You digitally allocate your income to different spending categories, and you can share your budget with your partner as well, which makes it simple to track your cash flow as a family. It’s available on the web and for Apple and Android. There’s a free plan that comes with a limited number of envelopes and only one account on two devices, and there’s a premium version that costs $7 per month or $60 per year.

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Dollarbird is a calendar-based budget app that’s perfect for tracking your spending prior to creating a budget or for keeping track of a 50/30/20 or 80/20 budget. Because you enter every expense manually, it forces you to always have an eye on your finances. You can add past, future and recurring transactions and categorize them. You also add your income as you receive it. Dollarbird keeps a running total of how much available cash you have, so you won’t be tempted to overspend. There’s a free version for individuals, but if you want to collaborate with multiple accounts, you’ll need to purchase Pro. It’s $3.33 per month or $39.99 per year. It’s available on the web and for Apple and Android.

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PocketGuard is a free budgeting app that works similarly to Mint. It keeps track of your upcoming bills, automatically categorizes your spending, and connects all your accounts in one place. It’s an easy way to keep track of your net worth, and there’s even an autosave feature to help you grow your savings. PocketGuard is available for iPhone and Android.

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Saving is key to any budgeting plan, and the best savings accounts can help you grow your nest egg effortlessly. Keep your emergency fund and other savings in a high-yield savings account. These accounts typically offer higher interest rates than traditional savings accounts. If you hoard all your money in your checking account or a traditional savings account, you’ll miss out on the opportunity to accrue interest.

Learn more:

This article originally appeared on FinanceBuzz.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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