When I first started to create and implement a budget, I ransacked the internet looking for advice and systems that others have used. I tried enveloping, and I’ll probably try it again. It sounds like such a good idea… if you can remember to stop at the bank before you go to the food store which I never remember to do. I’ve tried apps and software which were all too complicated and cumbersome. I’ve tried just putting everything on automatic payments and crossing my fingers (not recommended).
I also use three simple strategies to help manage our budget.
Don’t pay bills when their due. Pay them with money from the paycheck you get after their statement becomes available. This way you’re never late, and you’re always a little ahead.
Split the expense between two paychecks for larger bills like rent. This takes the some of the bite out of those larger bills.
Budget all of your money. Know where every little bit should go. If you are lucky enough to have extra cash, put it towards a vacation fund, savings, or retirement.
Budgeting isn’t fun. It isn’t glamorous, especially when the you’re struggling financially, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult. Sticking to it is the hard part!