The Absolutely Best 4 Budgeting Techniques You Need to Try

The Absolutely Best 4 Budgeting Techniques You Need to Try

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How to choose the best budgeting techniques

So you have set financial goals and you looking for different ways to budget but then you also want to save cash, so how can you choose the best budgeting techniques?

Cause let’s face it there are lots of budgeting techniques out there and it’s hard to choose which one is best. 

But luckily for you, I’ll show you which type of budgeting is the best and how to choose the best budgeting method just for your savings goals.

Sounds good? Let’s get started. 

Before we go on make sure to download a free copy of the budgeting tracking template from here.

Budgeting techniques that manage your savings goals

Long term budgets 

1- Minimalist budgeting Method

I always talk about a minimalist budget and you can read the whole guide about it here but I know it’s not the best option for everyone.

But in short minimalist budgeting is to spend money on only what’s valuable and eliminate unnecessary items from your life.

If you think about it that’s what all different types of budgeting are all about but with this different type of budgeting method, it’s more about choosing a healthy lifestyle overall. 

The pros:

Like anything in life, there is some good stuff and some are not so good.

So here are the pros and cons of minimalist budgeting.

  • Eliminate unnecessary items from your life- Gets you conscience of your expenses
  • De-stress you 
  • Gets you focused 
  • Helps to manage your savings goals more effectively 

The cons:

  • Have to give up many things at first
  • Completely change your old habits when it comes to money expenses
  • Need to keep track of every bi weekly 

You can see between the pros and the cons, the pros outweigh the cons and, while it may look there are some cons but it’s changeable once you realize what you are doing.

Who Should Try This Budgeting Method?

There are some you need to consider before you choose this type of budgeting technique.

Ask yourself these questions and if most of the answers are yes and you feel good about it then this budgeting method is definitely for you. 

Here are some things to look for

  • What are your savings goals?
  • Do you budget for the long term?
  • Are you ready to change your habits around money?
  • Willing to give up unnecessary items?
  • Are you willing to make hard decisions?

You can check this post for how to make a minimalist budget using software or a pen and paper

Free Budget Tracker
Easy Plug and Play

to track your expenses and set your budget.

Short term budget

2- Envelope saving budgeting method

This budgeting technique is my favorite and has helped me to save an extra $381 in 2 months.

You get some envelopes and categorize them based on the total cost of your spending during the month and then add some cash in each envelope. 

But here are the main expense categories

The Cost

Groceries 

Transportation

Utility Bills 

Car payments/repairs 

You get the idea.

Who Should Try This Budgeting Method?

If you have a short term this method is effective for you.

Here is how to do it?

First, you need to evaluate how much you spend on each category. There are 2 ways to evaluate either by a mental check which is faster but not reliable as much or you can go through bills of the last 3 month and calculate the average expenses.

Whichever way you choose it’ll change from time to time so don’t overcomplicate this step. 

label

Then label each envelope with your categories label the main categories first then label the extra one later. 

And then after you label each one write the amount you calculated that will be spent on this category. 

Let’s say that on a groceries envelope your monthly average expenes is $550, so you add that amount in this envelope under the groceries label.

Do so for each one.

If you don’t use cash which I know in Europe they don’t use that much cash anymore, you can still do the same process but instead of adding cash you’ll write on the envelope card payments and add bills/receipts inside envelopes. 

Here is the fun part 

On days you know you’re going to do food shopping take that envelope with you and pull the cash from it, that way you know how much you took from the total amount.

Depending on what you’ll spend money on that day take the appropriate label that goes with it.

And don’t forget to add the receipt or bill to that exact envelope. 

I recently discovered these colorful cash envelopes to track your budget

Track expenses and income

Here is the thing, it’s important to track and measure what you got to see if the plan is working.

Otherwise, it’s not worth it to start budgeting at all. 

One way to track is you can use my free template notion or use this physical budget tracker. 

Who Should Try This Budgeting Method?

While I saw success with this budget method it takes an effort each week to track if you are on track.

But if you feel like this will help you reach your savings goals in the next 3 months then it’s your best option.

Here are the pros and cons:

Pros

  • Effective short term budget
  • Increase your savings 
  • Manage your savings 

Cons

  • Tracking is time consuming
  • You waste a lot of envelopes 
  • A lot of envelope piles 

3- Pay yourself first Budgeting Method

This budgeting technique increased my saving account by 1000%, which was also the first budget. 

This is what it sounds like, each month you take a portion from your income and add it to your bank account or saving account. 

And the rest is all yours to spend on whatever you desire.

This technique is best especially if you tend to stress about savings every month. 

How to do it?

At every paycheck, transfer an amount of money to any of your bank accounts. 

This will depend on your saving goals, if you want to increase your emergency fund then it’s best to transfer that amount to this type of account or if you want to save more then you transfer the money to the savings account. 

You get the idea.

You can also make this process automated so you don’t have to track if you fail to do so.

 

Who Should Try This Budgeting Method?

This seems the best and easiest of all the budgeting techniques on this list but like I said each of the budgeting methods has its pros and cons.

Pros

  • You don’t need to track
  • You can automate the whole process
  • No stress
  • You don’t cut from your expenses
  • Long term goals

Cons

  • The amount you save will be depended on the income you receive 
  • It’s not efficient if you budget on a low income
  • This only works if your main goal is to save more

As you can see this varies from the other methods and it’s geared toward only one goal.

4- 70:20:10 Budget Rule Budgeting Method

I gave a brief description in this budgeting guide post but didn’t give much detail about it.

Here is what it means?

You put a percentage to the each of the following 

Expenses 

Savings

Investments

Or,

Expenses 

Savings

Debt 

How to do it?

You can either do it digitally or physically (I.E using a budget planner).

First, you need to find out what are your primary saving goals?

Do you want to save more? 

Do you want to pay off debts?

Or, do you want to invest more?

Based on these questions you’ll be able to put the appropriate percentage to each category.

But before you do that take a look at your previous 3-6 months and divide your percentages of your spending habits.

For example,

Let’s say that in the last 3-6 months you spent over 70% and managed to only save 10% in this case you need to cut out your expenses. 

You can read more about cutting your expenses here. 

After you divide your percentage, make sure that your expenses don’t exceed 70%.

Use a calculator for this next section 

You multiply your income with your desired percentage to each category divided by 100

Here is the equation for quick reference

(Income x % ÷ 100)

This will vary from person to person but let’s take one example so you understand how it’s done.

If you make $5k per month and your goal is to save money then here is how it’s done.

Saving 50% ( Save $2.5k) 

Spending 40% (Spend $2k)

Invest 10% (Invest $500)

Who Should Try This Budgeting Method?

If you follow the budget community then you know this is the most popular technique of them all since you only set percentages and you go on from here.

Here are the pros and cons: 

Pros

  • Long term budget
  • Set it and forget 
  • Manage your finances 
  • You can change your goal each month

Cons

  • It’s fixed depends on your priorities each month
  • You need to track so you don’t exceed the %

Budgeting tools and Apps

I know not many people love like to use pen or paper especially when doing something like setting a budget.

So, tools and apps can play a huge part to help you maintain your savings and helps you to automate the whole process.

While I can’t give review to these tools or apps but they’re highly recommend by many people.

Budget tools

  • Mint
  • You need a budget

Budget Apps

  • 1money

Now you know the best budgeting techniques out there (In my experience) I want to share some tips to help you choose the best budgeting method for you.

Sounds good?

What type of family are you?

Are you single or have a spouse? Then envelope method and minimalist budget are your best options.

If you have a family or you provide someone else then the budget rule of 70:20:10 and pay yourself first can be one of your options. 

What are your goals? 

Like I haven’t said it enough.

I have put each budget technique under long term or short term goals.

If you want to budget for the long term then you can choose a minimalist budget and/or Budget rule.

Want to budget on a short term then an envelope system and pay yourself first can be your primary options. 

More resources you’ll love:

Weigh out the pros and cons?

Under each budget method, I have included the pros and cons to make it easier for you to choose from.

You can evaluate which one you can walk away with with the least minimal cons. 

Final Note 

Regardless of your saving goals, there will not be only one budget technique to use, I choose my method every now and then depending on my money circumstances

So you don’t have to get stuck on one method, you can try only one and love or you can try them all and hate em.

Just keep on trying and you’ll find one budget technique that’ll help you with your saving goals. 

Budget related article:

The Absolutely Best Budgeting Techniques You need to Try


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Amira

Hi, I'm Amira and I run the website The Self Art for creative women who want to work on self improvement and becoming their best version by setting goals with a fun twist.

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