Is there a best budget ever?
Yes, there is one, single best budget ever. But no budget will stop you living paycheck-to-paycheck, having more month at the end of your money and not knowing where all your money goes till you bust these budget busters. Only then can you budget like a badass
Why we were the worst budgeters ever?
Back in our careless carefree clubbing days, we spent money like it was our J.O.B. You know those moments when you hit the ATM and it hits you back with “You have insufficient funds to complete this transaction” moments?
We had tons of these. If there was a lesson to learn, we never got it. We never said, “The ATM said to stay home tonight,” and then go home to entertain ourselves with something cheaper or, hmmmm, free.
Nope! That’s when Mr. Mastercard and Diva Visa sponsored the night’s shenanigans.
To make matters worse, we’d spend more than we originally planned in protest to the cashier? the universe? God? our Econ 101 professor from freshman year? saying . . .
“under no circumstances will you ever make us stop spending money we don’t have!”
If this reads a little too familiar, know you’re not alone. You just wouldn’t know it. Our friend, Gaby Dunn, kicked off her podcast series by hitting coffee shops in NYC and asking people their favorite sex position. Everyone shared their personal coital preferences. When Gaby asked the balance of their bank account, they clammed up.
Everyone wants to be a badass, so sharing the risqué side of ourselves is cool. Most people are embarrassed by their financial situation, so sharing their bank balance is “too personal.”
They wouldn’t be embarrassed if they could budget like a badass. How do you budget like a badass? Make the best budget ever and overcome these budgeting hurdles.
1. Get needs vs wants
This is getting harder and harder and keeps any budget from being the best budget ever.
Why’s this getting so hard? Because each year and invention makes separating needs from wants harder.
Once upon a time, your phone was attached to a wall (likely in your kitchen) in your home, and you had to wait your turn if others were using it. You couldn’t check your messages until you got home – aghast!
Then, there were ‘cellular’ phones the size of lunch boxes and as heavy as bricks to take on the go. They mostly went in your car.
Then, cellular phones became cell phones and fit in your pocket. Then, cell phones became smartphones.
And, as phones got smaller, smarter and Xspensiver, they required more stuff, like insurance, covers and data plans and apps and WiFi access and on and on.
If a phone is a need, a simple one is enough. It was for years. All these other stuffs are wants, add-ons and things that just cost more, often more than we have.
Needs are reasonably priced food, clothing and shelter purchased in modest amounts. Beyond that, you’re living in the world of the 1%.
2. Eliminate choices
We love Target. It’s the closest thing to visiting Disney World on a weekly basis if you don’t live in Orlando.
It’s happy. It’s clean. It’s modern. And it has so much stuff we love. So, so much.
We needed shampoo once. Simple, enough, right? Au contraire.
Not only are there like 1,000 shampoos, but there are also 100 men’s shampoos. When did this happen? Growing up, we had Suave. It was kinda fruity, but it made us clean and the Jolly Rancher scent disappeared by the time we left the house.
We thought, “Do we need men’s shampoo? Do men need a different kind of follicle cleaning than women? If we get men’s shampoo, which one? Are there more things to think about when buying shampoo as men other than gender?”
OMG! Way too hard. We left without buying anything.
This is living in abundance, but more choices don’t necessarily mean more value. So, find your standards. Find the products and services, ideally store brands and generics, that you can reasonably afford and stick with. Don’t stray to the newer, shinier product because they’ll cost more.
3. Avoid lifestyle creep
It’s a sneaky little bitch, this lifestyle creep. Lifestyle creep happens slowly and without notice. Suddenly, your standard of living is higher than you knew or planned. The types and brands you buy are slightly better.
It starts with one treat here, making one exception there. It’s one special occasion that becomes another and then another until it’s the standard. It’s using one bad day as an excuse followed by just one more (and that’s it!) until it’s not. It’s the reason so many of us can get a raise and by the next year, we feel like we never got one and still don’t feel like we are making progress.
When this happens enough, you blow whatever budget you had, even the best budget ever. The only way to rein it in is checking and re-checking your budget. A budget isn’t a once in a while thing, it’s an all the time thing.
Being aware of lifestyle creep is how to avoid it.
4. Ignore clever marketing
Marketing is as much a science as art. Its purpose is to make you spend money even if you don’t have it to buy something even if you don’t need it.
Glossy magazines, flashy videos and glitzy commercials are designed to separate you from your money more often than Lady Gaga breaks off engagements. Avoiding them as much as possible and referring back to #1 when they’re unavoidable are the best ways to stick with your budget.
5. Pick a plan
No one gets rich spending more than they make. Believe us! We tried for a looooong time. Twice a month, every month, our bank accounts would be near $0 and we’d play money shuffle, robbing one account to cover another only to resort to our credit cards yet again.
We tried countless budgets, but there was something about each that didn’t work for us. If our failed budgets sat on a pile next to our pile of failed diets, it’d be neck and neck.
Because nothing we found worked for us, we created our own budget and it’s our MOST REQUESTED tool.
It works for us, and we love it. People are always looking for a budget that suits them and this budget suit lots of people.
Because a spreadsheet is only so helpful, we created the Budget Buster Bundle. It’s our simple, 4-step plan for creating, what we (and many) think, is the best budget ever.
Try the Budget Buster Bundle and in one month, you’ll:
- never miss a bill again
- find extra money
- stop losing at the grocery store
- adjust for fluctuating tips, commission and bonuses
- have a happiness budget
- automate and simplify
- get a menu plan with over 50 money smart meals
- download our list of favorite budgeting tools and apps
- stop living paycheck to paycheck
With the Budget Buster Bundle and these four recommendations, you too can have the best budget ever. Never need another budget ever again because the Budget Buster Bundle is all you’ll ever need.