Finally: Here’s How to Create a Budget You Can Really, Truly Stick To
Learn how to budget now, and you’ll thank yourself later.
Making—and sticking to—a budget may feel outdated and dowdy, but learning how to budget is one of the most important things you can do for your financial future and overall financial wellness. Creating an emergency fund protects you from unexpected expenses; creating a budget protects you from overspending, and can even help you stay out of debt (or pay down your debt in a timely manner) and make progress toward achieving your financial goals.
Still, learning how to budget doesn't have to mean using the envelope method or spending lists your parents may have used.
"The word 'budget,' just like the word 'diet,' may make us cringe a bit," says Brittney Castro, CFP at Mint. "These terms do feel outdated, but the basic concepts still hold true. You can't lose weight if you don't eat fewer calories than you burn, and you can't get ahead financially if you don't spend less money than you earn. That said, unlike dieting, budgeting isn't 'one size fits all' and restrictive."
There's a budgeting system out there for everyone, even if you don't refer to it as a budget, and whether you're expecting to retire soon, mapping out your financial future as a young professional, or figuring out the best way to manage after a job or income loss because of the coronavirus crisis, learning how to make a budget you can stick to now can and will pay off (literally) later.