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Lazy Budgeting: Learn How to Get Spending Under Control

If you’re among those who run away from the mere thought of budgeting, this issue is for you. With help from the editors at The Motley Fool, we’ll show how you can budget with as little effort as possible.

Don’t Follow a Budget? You’re Not Alone

According to a Harris Poll, about 60% of the US population does not keep a budget. But why? Speaking with Forbes magazine, financial expert and author Patrice Washington said one of the reasons is that we’re looking at budgeting the wrong way. “We think budgeting is going to deprive us, but it’s not about deprivation at all. Try to think of it as a guideline for what you want – and not a rigid set of rules that’s preventing you from buying coffee or spending the night a night on the town,” she said.

Step 1 to Lazy Budgeting: Taking a Snapshot of What You Spend

Don’t worry about spreadsheets and pouring over data. Instead, let’s do this the easy way. Take a look at your monthly bank statement. Then, put the expenses in general categories for what they are (mortgage, food, bills, treats, etc.). If you do most of your spending with cash, just keep track of what you spend in one week. Then you can project that for four weeks, giving you a general idea of where your money goes.

Step 2 to Lazy Budgeting: Making a Plan of Attack For Your Spending

Now that you’ve had time to recover from the shock of seeing exactly where you money usually goes, let’s take a virtual shopping trip. To do this, make a list of what you need to do or buy over the next 3-6 months. This can include a new battery for your car, paying down a credit card, going on a vacation, etc. Now do the same for your long-term (3-5 years) plans. Just like that, you’ve put together a “spending plan!” Now, when you reach for your wallet, you have a solid list of goals that can help you make your decisions.

Step 3 to Lazy Budgeting: Show Off Your Smarts With a Bit of Simple Division

Now that you have your spending plan in hand, write in just how much each item on your list is going to cost on a monthly basis. Now, divide the total amount of the vacation by the number of months until you leave town. Bingo! You’re budgeting!

Step 4 to Lazy Budgeting: Let The Bank Help Set Up Savings System

One of the easiest ways to save money is to keep it out of sight. A good way to do this is to make arrangements with your bank to automatically transfer a certain amount from your checking account into a separate savings account.

Call The Oswalt Law Group in Arizona if Crippling Debt is Holding You Back

We understand that even the mere mention of the word “budgeting” can send some consumers running for the hills. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Budgeting and a bit of planning ahead can be your ticket out of the world of crippling debt. If you need help dealing with your finances, call us here at The Oswalt Law Group. The first consultation is always free, so call us at (602) 225-2222.

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