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4 Different Budgeting Styles

Learn about different budgeting strategies to find the one that works for you.

Everyone has their own personal methods when it comes to personal finance. Have you found a style that works best for you yet? Or are you interested in trying out new methods? While there are countless ways to track your budget, here are 4 suggested budgeting styles that beginners and pros alike use.

1. Paycheck Budgeting

Paycheck budgeting is a method in which you allocate your funds according to your pay period instead of setting a more standard monthly budget. Each time you receive your paycheck, you’ll set aside a large portion of it for your expenses for rent, utilities, phone bill, wifi, loans, and whatever else you need to pay off. When you receive your second bi-weekly paycheck, you’ll pay off the rest of the services and bills due.

Ultimately, this method is effective for those living paycheck-to-paycheck and trying to properly allocate their funds accordingly so everything gets taken care of. It focuses on the money you have in the present and the expenses you have due by the end of the month.

2. Making Half Payments

Another budgeting method involves making half payments on your expenses. For example, if you get paid every other week (2 times per month), after each pay day you’ll take care of half of your monthly expenses. If you get paid every week (4 times per month), then you’ll be paying a quarter of your expenses after each paycheck arrives.

This method works best for those who get paid twice a month or on a consistent schedule. This way you’ll know you’re on pace each month to paying off your expenses if you pay off 50% at a time with a bi-weekly income.

3. 50/30/20 Allocations

Following a rule based on percentages of your income is a great way to keep a constant budget no matter how much money you are ultimately making. This method is great for those who make inconsistent pay and aren’t sure how to handle their expenses and savings. As long as you have enough funds incoming to handle your expenses, then a 50/30/20 allocated budget is something to consider.

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The 50% of your income should go to paying off your essential expenses such as rent, utilities, credit card bill, and loans. 30% should go towards your own personal needs and entertainment such as your subscriptions, gym memberships, clothes, and eating out. Then the last 20% should go towards your financial goals, savings accounts, or retirement funds.

4. Bare-Bones Budget Strategy

If you’re looking to achieve your financial goals or expectations in a limited time frame, you may consider the bare-bones budgeting approach. For those well-disciplined individuals out there, you’ll essentially be using your income to pay off your monthly expenses then putting the remaining funds into savings.

This is a great way to cut back on unnecessary coasts and quickly fill your savings account if you’re looking to set up an emergency fund, pay off a mortgage or student loans, or if you’re saving up for anything else special.

Written By

Travis Barnett is an expert in finances backed by 10 years of experience as a financial analyst at CNB. He graduated from UCLA's Anderson School of Management in 2010 and has been in the field ever since. Travis now enjoys sharing his business experience with others as a financial writer in San Diego. In his spare time, he enjoys hitting the links and working on his golf swing.

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