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Plan a simple and realistic budget

The Secret to Making a Budget: Don't!

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  • Become aware of your entire financial situation
  • Get a solid grasp on your earnings and expenses
  • See exactly where you spend your money
  • Identify any problem areas and make the changes to improve your financial situation

It's hard to stick to a budget; so don't!

  1. You need to manage your money, but you don't need to budget.

    People get into financial trouble when they lose their job, or get divorced, or get injured and canít work. If you have savings and good budgeting skills, you can survive a shock like that, but if you donít have savings, and donít know how to manage your money, you may end up having no choice but to go bankrupt. Managing your money is very important.

  2. How can I manage my money without budgeting?

    The secret to money management is simple: don't budget, just pay your bills as often as you get paid.

    If you get paid every week, pay your bills every week.

    If your telephone bill is $100 per month, instead of trying to find $100 one day each month when the bill is due, pay $25 each week, on payday. Your bills get paid, and you don't need to budget.

  3. That's more work than budgeting, isn't it?

    No. It's easier. You use telephone or internet banking to program your bill payments. Do it now, for the next six months, and you're done. It's that easy.

    Figure out what you expect to pay per month for your monthly bills, like phone, hydro, cable, gas, etc. Then divide by the number of paycheques in a month, and program that payment every payday. If your cable bill is $80 per month, and you get paid bi-weekly, pay $40 every two weeks, on payday.

Will it work? What's so great about paying bills every payday?

  • No worries
    You get paid on Friday, and all of your bills automatically get paid on Friday, so when you go to the bank on Saturday you know exactly how much money youíve got to live on for the week.
  • No budgeting
    You donít have to set money aside for your hydro bill in two weeks, because itís already paid!
  • You are always ahead on your bills, never behind
    Here's the really cool part: in an extra pay month, you pay extra. If you get paid weekly, four times a year you get five paycheques in a month. Great! That means youíre making an extra weekly payment to hydro that month, and you wonít even miss it. A year from now, if you donít miss any payments, youíll be a month ahead with hydro, and everyone else! So now, if you get laid off, or need to skip a payment, no problem! Youíre a month ahead!

This sounds good, but what about bills you can't pay weekly, like your rent or car insurance? And what about saving for the future? Isn't that the point of budgeting? You are correct, so for more details please see the next article in this series with more household budgeting secrets to give you more details.

For now, try it. Donít budget, just pay your bills as frequently as you get paid, and youíll see that your life will be simpler, and a lot less stressful.


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