Minimalist Budgeting to Get You Back on Track for 2019 - CCCU
Friday, January 4 CCCU
The minimalist budgeting plan you
need to get back on track in 2019
If you’ve slipped up a little bit this year, you’re not alone. Nearly half of millenials feel like they’re treading water when it comes to money. We’re here to help you get your financial planning in order starting now.
The hardest part of saving money is sticking to a budget. The second hardest part is creating the budget itself. While most of us aren’t taught to understand a budget growing up, it’s crucial to our financial success in the future. Even if you don't track all of your spending every month, it’s still possible to make an impact in terms of allocating your money. Here’s how to use a minimalist approach to stay on budget without getting frustrated.
Start with the basics.
Using the 50/30/20 plan is the easiest way to stay on budget without doing too much legwork. The simple explanation is this: you put 50% of your after tax income into essentials. Your needs, such as health insurance, rent, utilities and more should all fit into this category. 20% of your after tax income should go to debt or savings. Things like your 401(k), paying off college loans, and saving for a downpayment on a home can all go into this category. The other 30% goes to the personal discretionary money you’re probably spending to make life more enjoyable. Whether it’s a work out class, new sneakers, or heading off an a new adventure, this section of your budget ensures you aren’t just holed up being frugal, but taking advantage of your money as well.
Take some time to write out your budget, and see if you’re falling into these sections. If you aren’t, think about whether or not you can get these numbers closer to the goal. Once you’ve calculated your ongoing expenses and budget, you get to the hard part… actually sticking to it.
Make it a habit.
Budgets work when you make them a habit. If the choice you make most often is the less financially responsible one, it will take time to change your behaviors and embrace who you want to become in 2019, and the years after. We highly recommend starting small, and moving towards your goals slowly. This way, you can make progress every month, and by the end of the year have made your new financially healthy habits.
Don’t stress yourself out.
If there are fluctuations, or if you feel like you made a mistake, don’t panic. Stressing out over your budget can lead to guilt, and accepting anomalies can help you stay relaxed and on track instead of spiraling. Planning your saving and spending can also help you stay on track, and help you justify purchases or say no to others based on what you know is coming up in the month.
Find a buddy.
If you’re really struggling, or just want to make budgeting more fun, find a friend to do it with you. Most people want to get a better hold on their finances, and even if you don’t share all the details, having someone to keep you on track is a big help. Just like working out, sometimes we need an accountability buddy.
Keep on going.
So, say it’s December of 2019 and you’ve done great this year. You may feel like you’ve solved things, and like there’s no work left to be done. In truth, this just means you’ve made the first big step. Now, it’s time to keep up the good work and habits you’ve cultivated this year. Set ambitious goals, plan for the future, and make sure you are sticking to a budget that will help you live comfortably now and in the future. We believe in you!