Simplify Your Budget with These Five Tips

Budgets can be a hassle. They’re complicated and often you spend more time categorizing your spending than making the actual transaction. Here are some strategies and tips to help make the budget planning process easier and more manageable:

Forget perfection. A budget is a target, so don’t worry about being perfect. Make adjustments as needed to get you as close as possible to your goal.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s smart to use coupons and shop the sales, but when it comes down to your big purchases, be smart. Doing so will allow you more room in your budget for fun.

Make plans based on reality, not on your idealized life. Base your budget on the money you actually have. You may still get that raise you’ve been wanting but don’t account for it in your budget until it’s actually in your hand.

Keep it simple. Track only as much detail as you need. Overly complex budgets will fail because they require too much effort.

Use the Balanced Money Formula. This formula suggests you create a budget with only three categories – must-haves, savings and wants. Devote 50% for needs, 20% for savings and 30% for wants. Once you get used to it, you can break it down into additional subcategories.

These ideas should act as a starting point and can be tailored to create your own personal budget. For more information, please visit